|Official Name||Republic of Austria (Republik Osterreich)||Capital||Vienna||Population||8,069,000||Area||83,858 sq km or 32,377 sq mi||Currency||Schilling||Religion||Christianity||Literacy||100%||Languages||German||Major Cities||Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck||Climate||Mixed in nature|
A republic in South Central Europe, Austria is a federal state of nine provinces. In the year 1918, the country was invaded by Nazi Germany but gained full sovereignty in 1955. Austria is mountainous a country, with 65% of the land being mountains while forest account for 47% of the total area.
Mountains dominate most parts of Austria, with an average elevation of about 910 m (about 3,000 ft). The major mountain ranges of Austria run in an east-west direction and are separated from one another by rather broad valleys. Besides these east-west ranges, several series of mountain spurs extend in a north-south direction. The mountain barriers of Austria are broken in many places by passes, including the Brenner Pass and the Semmering Pass.
Location of Austria
Austria (German Osterreich) is bound on the north by the Czech Republic; on the northeast by Slovakia; on the east by Hungary; on the south by Slovenia, Italy, and Switzerland; and on the west by Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Germany. Austria stretches to about 580 km in length and has an area of 83,858 sq km.
Climate of Austria
The climate of Austria is mixed in nature with the mountainous regions being partially subjected to moderate Atlantic conditions thus experiencing more precipitation than the eastern lowlands, which are under continental influences. Summers are short, with moderate temperatures while spring and autumn are usually mild throughout the country. The winters are severe and cold and often last about three months in the valleys. At times, Austria is also a witness to avalanches.
Flag of Austria
The Austria flag consists of three equal horizontal bands - red on the top, white in the middle and again red at the bottom.
Though most of the population comprises of German-speaking, the country has a varied ethnic mixture. About 99 percent of the population is ethnic Austrian. Minority groups include Croats and Hungarians (in Burgenland), Slovenes (in Karnten (Carinthia)), Czechs (in Vienna), as well as small numbers of Italians, Serbs, and Romanians.
Flora And Fauna of Austria
In the lower elevations of Austria, the plants found include mainly deciduous trees like beech, oak, and birch, while the higher elevations have a very brief season during which alpine plants, including edelweiss, gentians, primroses, buttercups, and monkshoods bloom and spread fragrance of beauty. Austria does not have a rich wild, however, few Chamois, deer and marmot can be still found.
Austria is rich in culture, it has a rich heritage in art work which includes wood carvings, Gobelins tapestries, hand-carved and hand-painted chests, intricately forged grates and other ironwork, stained-glass windows, Augarten porcelain from Vienna, lace, and leatherwork. Wood carving and sculpturing have long been popular among the people of the Alpine valleys.
Austria is also known as the land of music and has seen the birth of many a musicians and composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Bruckner, Joseph Hayd..the list can go on and on. The capital, Vienna, has two famous opera houses, the Volksoper (People's Opera), opened in 1904, and the Vienna State Opera, completed in 1869 and stories of its beautiful architecture and fine performances are spread far and wide.
Economy of Austria
The economy of Austria is mainly based on private and public enterprise. Most of the industries, including oil production and refining; the large commercial banks; and principal companies in river and air transportation, railroad equipment, electric machinery and appliances, mining, iron, steel, and chemical manufacturing, and natural-gas and electric power production were nationalized in 1946. However, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many of these companies saw a reduction in government control due to the sale of shares to private investors. Over the years, Austria has maintained close ties with the countries of Eastern Europe. Since the collapse of Communism in those countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s, more than 1,000 Western companies have chosen Austria as their base for new Eastern European operations. In 1999 the estimated annual national budget included revenues of $78.2 billion and expenditures of $84.5 billion. Gross domestic product (GDP) was $188.5 billion in 2001.