Austria is in Central Europe, characterized by its mountain villages, baroque city architecture, Imperial history and rugged alpine terrain.
The official name of Austria is the Republic of Austria.
As of 1 January 2016, the population of Austria was estimated to be 8,441,461 people.
Austria’s official language is German.
Vienna, the capital of Austria, lies in the country’s east on the Danube River.
Austria’s topographic diversity accounts for a great variety of flora and fauna, including endemic species that are under preservation.
Austria is one of the most forested countries in Europe with almost half its territory covered in forest—and forested area is increasing steadily thanks to Austria’s “green lung” projects.
Native to the Alpine regions are the chamois, groundhog, mountain jackdaw and eagle.
At 3,798 meters (12,460 feet) the Grossglockner is not only the highest mountain in Austria, it also counts among the highest peaks in the Alps.
The Eisriesenwelt, German for “World of the Ice Giants” is the largest ice cave in the world.
With a total height of 380 meters (1,246 feet) in three stages, the Krimml Waterfalls are the highest waterfalls in Austria and a unique natural wonder!
Vienna is home to the world’s oldest zoo, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn. It was founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752.
Vienna’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) is famous for rejecting a young painter by the name of Adolf Hitler.
The Salzburger Festspiele is the largest and most important opera and theater festival in Europe. This Austrian festival, created to honor the memory of Mozart, is devoted solely to performing his works.
Stiftskeller St. Peter is a restaurant within the monastery walls of St. Peter’s Archabbey, Salzburg, Austria. It is claimed to be the oldest inn in the world because of a supposed documentary mention of it by the scholar Alcuin in 803 AD.
When Emperor Maximilian I founded the Vienna Boys’ Choir in 1498, he replaced castrati with young boys whose voices had not yet broken, creating one of the world’s most celebrated choirs.
Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, and Strauss was Austrians.
Probably the best known of all Austrian artists is Gustav Klimt, the founding member and main representative of the Viennese Secession movement. He often used gold in his paintings and embellished them with striking “mosaics.” His best known work is The Kiss (1907–1908), which hangs in Vienna’s Belvedere Palace.
Viennese psychiatrist Sigmund Freud is best known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, which has heavily influenced modern psychology as well as other domains of science and culture. He died in exile in London in 1939.
Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in the small Austrian village of Braunau Am Inn just across the border from German Bavaria.
The most famous currently living Austrian is Arnold Schwarzenneger.
The Austrian tradition of cake baking goes back centuries, with competition fierce between towns and cities to produce the finest tortes. Even in small villages, bakeries would try to outdo each other. Almost every Austrian city has its trademark cake. The most famous Austrian cake is the Viennese Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake invented by Chef Franz Sacher for Chancellor Metternich in 1832.
The most famous of Austrian dishes is Weiner Schnitzel, which are cutlets of veal, pounded thin, dusted with egg and breadcrumbs, and then fried.
A Mozartkugel is a small, round confection made of marzipan, nougat and dark chocolate. It was originally known as the “Mozartbonbon”, and was created by Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst in 1890 and named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Waltz born in the suburbs of Vienna and in the alpine region of Austria. As early as the 17th century, waltzes were played in the ballrooms of the Hapsburg court. It become were very popular in Vienna in the early 19th century then spread to the rest of Europe.
The film Amadeus, which is the story of the life of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1984.
Alpine, or downhill, skiing has been the most popular sport in Austria for over 100 years.
Austria is constantly ranked as having one of the highest standards of living in the world and Vienna nearly always tops the list of the World’s Most Livable Cities.