Country's Map, Scenery and National Symbols
Provinces, States and Regions
Capital, Metropolitan Areas and Major Cities
Cities, Towns and Villages
- Austria’s flag is one of the oldest national banners in the world. According to the legend, the flag was invented by Duke Leopold V of Austria as a consequence of his fighting during the Siege of Acre. After a fierce battle, his white coat was completely drenched in blood. When he removed his belt, the cloth beneath remained unstained, revealing the combination of red-white-red.
- Despite the fact that the European history of coffee began in Venice, it was the Austrians who appreciated the drink on its merits and made it a symbol of their country. The history of Viennese coffee began in 1683, when, after an unsuccessful attempt by the Ottoman Empire to besiege Vienna, fleeing Turks left in their camp all their coffee supplies. The winners initially mistook 300 bags of strange grains for camel food. One of the people who distinguished themselves during the siege of Vienna was the Polish diplomat, merchant and intelligence officer Yuri (Jerzy) Kulchitsky. For his merits, the authorities of Vienna offered him to choose his own reward. He asked to give him sacks with strange grains. Initially Kulchitsky carried coffee through the streets of the city in jugs on a tray, but this drink of the Turks hated by the locals was not in demand at first. Then Kulchitsky began to sweeten coffee with honey, added milk and sugar to coffee, from where the recipe for the famous "Viennese coffee" came from. It is believed that he was the person who opened the first coffee shop in Vienna. Since then, the famous Viennese coffee houses have created an indescribable aroma of this city and have become its trademark. They are so important to understanding the history and culture of this city that UNESCO listed Vienna's Coffee Culture as an Intangible Human Heritage, indicating that Viennese coffee houses have a "very specific atmosphere." According to UNESCO, “Viennese coffee houses are a place where time and space is consumed, but only coffee is included in the bill”.
- Founded in 1752 as an animal menagerie by Emperor Franz Stephan, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Tiergarten is the oldest zoo in the world.
- Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts is famous for rejecting a young painter by the name of Adolf Hitler. Of the 128 applicants that applied in 1907, Hitler was one of the 100 who failed. His entrance exam themes included “Expulsion from Paradise,” “Building Workers,” and “Death.”
- Austria is the only European Union nation that is not a member of NATO. After World War II, Austrian government signed an agreement on Austria's permanent neutrality in order to avoid the occupation as in Germany. The agreement is still valid.
- One of the most popular types of recreation in the mountain resorts of Austria are saunas. Here, as in Germany, men and women visit saunas together. Of course, some places have "male" and "female" days, but this is not common. But what shocks tourists even more is that it’s unacceptable to wear swimsuits in saunas. No one will forbid you to wrap yourself in a towel, but locals will have fun looking at you.
- The largest European cemetery is in Austria. It is like a real green park where you can relax, make a date and breathe fresh air. Death in Austria is a big business. Austrians plan quite openly for their eventual demise, discussing reservation of burial plots, designing headstones etc. Only coming back from an Austrian funeral, you can hear that there was “a beautiful corpse” in a coffin.
- The population of Austria is 8,5 million people. This is approximately equal to the population of the state of Virginia and one million larger than the population of the Moscow Region.
- About 74% of the population is Catholic.
- Austria is 70% mountainous; average altitude is about 900 m.
- Austria belongs to the group of top-15 countries in the world with the highest standards of living.
- The official language is German. It is also the official language of Germany, Liechtenstein, one of the official languages of Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium.
- German is the native language for 105 million people, another 80 million speak it as a foreign language.
- According to the Muhlenberg legend, the single vote of Frederick Muhlenberg, the first ever Speaker of the US House of Representatives, prevented German from becoming an official language of the United States. The story has a long history and has been told in several variations, which may be based in part on actual events.
- Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg.
- The population of Vienna, the capital, is approximately 1 million 900 thousand people. It’s the second largest German-speaking city in the world after Berlin.
- More than 10 years in a row Vienna is recognized as the best city in the world for the quality of living. This internationally recognized index is annually published by American consulting company Mercer.
- At the beginning of the 20th century, Vienna's population reached 2 million people - it was the fourth largest city in the world.
- The second largest city in Bulgaria - Graz, claims to be the "student" capital of the country, since 30% of its population is students.