Insight into Austria

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Austria’s formal name is Republik Öesterreich (Republic of Austria), which literally means “Eastern Realm. Austria has 32,383 square miles (83,871 square km) of area. It is slightly smaller than Maine and completely landlocked.

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Austria is bordered 8 countries on all sides. At the north are Germany and the Czech Republic, at the west are Liechtenstein and Switzerland, at the south Italy and Slovenia and at the east are Hungary and Slovakia.

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The country’s flag is one of the world’s oldest national flags. It dates way back to 1191.

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Austria is a federal republic state with a parliamentary democracy, consisting of 9 independent federal regions.

Austria is the only European Union nation that is not a member of NATO.

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Vienna’s Prater Park gained its name in 1194 when Babenburg Duke Friedrich I gave the section of Vienna woodlands along the Danube River as a gift to an Italian royal family called de Prato, who changed their name to Prater. In 1766, Emperor Joseph II donated the royal hunting grounds to the people of Vienna for their amusement. The park’s most iconic amusement is the Riesenrad (Giant Wheel), built by English engineer Walter Basset for the World Exhibition of 1896-97.

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The name for Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace (Beautiful Fountain) comes from the spring that provided the palace with wonderful fresh water from its very early days as a small hunting lodge. The water tasted so clear that the Austrian Emperors had it delivered to their table at the palace, and Empress Maria-Theresa had a grotto-like building built over the spring to protect it, which still stands to this day.

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Languages: German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene, official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3% (2001 census)

Ethnicity/race: Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Serbs, Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4% (2001)

Religions: Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)

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Our burden is the German speaking nations of Europe! And we cannot wait to be back on the field!

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