Austria i/ˈɒstriə/ or /ˈɔːstriə/; German: Österreich [ˈøːstɐˌʁaɪç], officially the Republic of Austria German: Republik Österreich, is a landlocked country of roughly 8.47 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,855 square kilometres 32,377 sq mi and has a temperate and alpine climate. Austrias terrain is highly mountainous due to the presence of the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres 1,640 ft, and its highest point is 3,798 metres 12,461 ft. The majority of the population speak local Austro-Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the countrys official language. Other local official languages are Burgenland Croatian, Hungarian and Slovene. The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe and, in response to the coronation of Napoleon I as the Emperor of the French, the Austrian Empire was officially proclaimed in 1804. In 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary.After the collapse of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, Austria adopted and used the name the Republic of German Austria “Deutschösterreich”, later “Österreich” in an attempt for union with Germany, but was forbidden due to the Treaty of Saint Germain. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. In the 1938 Anschluss, Austria was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Nazi Germany was occupied by the Allies and Austrias former democratic constitution was restored. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral.Today, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is Vienna. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $48,350 2011 est.. The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2011 was ranked 19th in the world for its Human Development Index. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, and is a founder of the OECD. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the European currency, the Euro, in 1999.
- Austrian Cuisine: The Big Four (happyheartofeurope.wordpress.com)
- Osterreich (rheumadroid.wordpress.com)
- Manfred Baumann shoots the Miss Austria 2012 contestants in swimwear, lingerie (lucire.com)
Austrians may use South African companies to trade in Africa and worldwide – to read more, follow the links above.