Friday, 13 April 2012


Austria was the centre of the Habsburg Empire. Its cities are full with palaces, beautiful churches and museums with artifacts from a great past which is not so long ago, The country side is dominated by majestic mountain ranges with snow capped peaks and beautiful valleys.

Austria is in the centre of Europe. The Alps are 75% of the land. The highest peak is the Grossglockner at 3797m. The 25% of the country is the valley of the river Danube and lies in the north and north-east. Austria's most fertile farmland.
Although mostly covered by mountains, Austria produces all its own food. Many families have farms and produce dairy products, beef and lamb. Austria has a thriving paper industry from its forests which covers 46% of the land. The country is the fifth largest exporter of sawn coniferous timber in the world.


Its other industry is heavy engineering is iron, steel, chemicals, cars and are all part of their export. Iron ore is mined in the province of Styria and made into steel at Linz which is an industrial centre. This industrial centre also has many small and very specialized workshops which produce high-quality products such as optical instruments.

The mountain streams which rushing down from the high mountains is used to produce electricity and yet the beauty of the country is not spoiled.  Austria produces 70% of its electricity that way.
Tourism is Austria's greatest industry.  Innsbruck and Kitzbuehl are full with skiers in the winter, mainly Germans and Italians but also Dutch, English and many other nationals. In the summer there are hill-walkers and mountaineers.

Historic cities like Salzburg and Vienna are very much visited and especially at the times of musical events. Schoenbrunn in Vienna was the summer residence of the Habsburg emperors. It was completed in 1730 and has 1430 rooms. Most famous is the Hall of Mirrors where Mozart played for the Empress Maria Theresia when he was only six years old.
Austrians love of music produced many famous musicians, especially classical. Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and the Strauss were all Austrian composers. Many others musicians moved there and lived in Vienna because it was a centre for classical music. Even today, they hold the Salzburg Music Festival every August. It is connected with Mozart and one of the most important festivals in the world.
Vienna, the capital, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It lies on the river Danube. Till not so long ago it was Europe's most powerful city.  Nowadays, the city's palaces, churches and opera houses are visited by over four million tourists every year.

The pavement cafes and coffee houses are favourite meeting places by the local population. Their cakes are legendary and world-wide known.

A number of important organizations have offices there. They are the United Nation and the OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries).
At Hallstatt near Salzburg over 3000 ancient graves were discovered in 1846. They were a powerful Celtic culture and lived there between 9th and 5th century BC. The Celtic Kingdom Noricum was very prosperous. Hallstatt is an important archaeological site. The discovery proved how a society moved from the Iron Age to the Bronze Age.
After that they were occupied by the Roman Empire. They built an important army camp and 50,000 people were living in the province Carnuntum. After the Roman Empire collapse the Bavarians, Slavs and Avars had come and went.
Charlemagne conquered the area in 788 AD and encouraged colonization and introduced Christianity. In 976 AD the Babenberg dynasty started under Leopold I.
In 976 the area was documented the first time as OSTARICHI.
1176 Vienna became the capital of the Duchy of Austria within the Holy Roman Empire.
1246 Frederich II died and with that the House of Babenberg was extinct.
1278 the Habsburg dynasty began. In 1529 and 1683 The Turks laid siege to Vienna but were beaten back. From 1756 the seven year war against Prussia was fought till 1763.
1806 The Holy Roman Empire fell apart and it became the Austrian Empire. After Napoleon, in 1815 the Congress of Vienna with the help of Metternich rebuilt Europe. 1866 Austria was defeated by Prussia and expelled from the German Federation.
1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated and Austria was advised to declare war on Serbia; it escalated and the First World War started.
1918 The Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved because they were defeated and the Republic of Austria was declared. In 1938-1945 Hitler occupied Austria.
1955 A State Treaty was signed and Austria becomes neutral. 1994 Austria votes to join European Union.


Austria makes definitely your journey worthwhile. Whether you go to Vienna and visit its, almost too many sightseeing or your go to the countryside and fall in love with its beauty and again too many magnificent sceneries you always be awe struck whichever area you chose to go to, Austria will be more than a treat..
Vienna itself has so many tourist attractions. There are the palaces Hofburg, and Schoenbrunn to be viewed which were the residences of the Habsburg Emperor and family till the First World War. The Zoo Schoenbrunn which is world famous for its beauty and collection of animals. The amusement park Prater with its Riesenrad (Giant Wheel); to watch a performance there is the Burgtheatre and famous Wiener Staatsopernhaus (Vienna Opera House). For horse lovers a real treat to watch the Lipizzaner perform in the Spanish Hofreitschule. A performance from the Vienna Boys Choir who reached world fame. The Heuringer is a park to sit, in the evening, and enjoy music, drink a beer and eat chicken roasted over an open fire. Many Art Museums and museums with exhibits from Austria's glorious past. Many beautiful churches worthwhile visiting even if you are not of that faith or any faith. Just for the cheer beauty and art they contain.
Austria has the finest Spa place in 15 exclusive Hotels located on the mountains or valleys for a revitalizing spa break.
The country side has just as many sight-seeing as Vienna if not more. The area Tyrol with its beautiful mountains and valleys for skiing in winter, snow guaranteed, and mountaineering in summer. Horse riding, biking, trekking and walking with or without organized tours. Lakes invite for swimming, sunbathing and water-sports. Yet it is only one area. There are many others activities just as beautiful and offering many holiday experiences never to forget.
The warmth, friendliness and hospitality of the local people are unbelievable. If you choose private accommodation you will be more than pleased with the service and it saves a lot of money. Good food and drinks are everywhere.


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