History of Austria

Topics: Austria, Vienna, History of Austria Pages: 86 (26942 words) Published: January 22, 2011


Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. In January 2009, Austria assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term. In the very heart of Europe, Austria is a country which could have been created with activity hol-idays in mind. It is a land of majestic mountains, tranquil lakes, fast flowing rivers and streams, deep forests, undulating meadows, charming village which cling fiercely to their architectural traditions and cultural heritage and cities which still reflect the artistic grandeur of the old Austro Hungarian Empire. Be it monumental buildings spanning all major epochs from gothic to renaissance and from ba-roque to jugendstil or even post-modernism. Be it time-honored or trendy, Austria’s cultural offer fascinates with historic settings for events, shopping tours and wonderful culinary experiences.

Fig 1:Official Name: Republic of Austria Fig 2: Flag of Austria The beautiful countryside of the Austrian mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, offers a unique choice of different locations. Austria’s mountain huts, national parks, many marked hiking trails, lakes with water of drinking quality, glaciers and lookout platforms with scenic view.

The German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the word Ostarrîchi, which first appears in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is probably a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local (Bavarian) dialect. The name means "Eastern borderlands." It was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976. The word "Austria" is a latinization of the German name and was first recorded in the 12th century. Friedrich Heer, one of the most important Aus-trian historians in the 20th century, stated in his book Der Kampf um die österreichische Iden-tität (The Struggle Over Austrian Identity), that the Germanic form Ostarrîchi was not a transla-tion of the Latin word, but both resulted from a much older term originating in the Celtic lan-guages of ancient Austria: More than 2,500 years ago, the major part of the actual country was called Norig by the Celtic population (Hallstatt culture); No- or Nor- meant "east" or "east-ern", whereas -rig is related to the modern German Reich; meaning "realm". Accordingly, Norig would essentially mean Ostarrîchi and Österreich, thus Austria. The Celtic name was eventually Latinised to Noricum after the Romans conquered the area that encloses most of modern day Austria, in approximately 15 BC. Noricum later became a Roman province in the mid 1st century AD.

Fig3 : The first appearance of the word Ostarrichi. Fig4: Coat Arms of Austria

Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates:
47 20 N, 13 20 E

Map references:

total: 83,871 sq km
land: 82,445 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries:
total: 2,562 km
border countries: Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary...
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