Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Building material is any material, used for construction purposes. Many occurring substances, such as clay, rocks and wood twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from occurring materials, many man-made products are in use, some more and some less synthetic; the manufacturing of building materials is an established industry in many countries and the use of these materials is segmented into specific specialty trades, such as carpentry, insulation and roofing work. They provide the make-up of structures including homes. In history there are trends in building materials from being natural to becoming more man-made and composite; these trends tend to increase the initial and long term economic, ecological and social costs of building materials. Initial economic cost of building materials is the purchase price; this is what governs decision making about what materials to use. Sometimes people take into consideration the energy savings or durability of the materials and see the value of paying a higher initial cost in return for a lower lifetime cost.
For example, an asphalt shingle roof costs less than a metal roof to install, but the metal roof will last longer so the lifetime cost is less per year. Some materials may require more care than others, maintaining costs specific to some materials may influence the final decision. Risks when considering lifetime cost of a material is if the building is damaged such as by fire or wind, or if the material is not as durable as advertised; the cost of materials should be taken into consideration to bear the risk to buy combustive materials to enlarge the lifetime. It is said that,'if it must be done, it must be done well'. Pollution costs can be micro; the macro, environmental pollution of extraction industries building materials rely on such as mining and logging produce environmental damage at their source and in transportation of the raw materials, transportation of the products and installation. An example of the micro aspect of pollution is the off-gassing of the building materials in the building or indoor air pollution.
Red List building materials are materials found to be harmful. The carbon footprint, the total set of greenhouse gas emissions produced in the life of the material. A life-cycle analysis includes the reuse, recycling, or disposal of construction waste. Two concepts in building which account for the ecological economics of building materials are green building and sustainable development; the Initial energy costs include the amount of energy consumed to produce and install the material. The long term energy cost is the economic and social costs of continuing to produce and deliver energy to the building for its use and eventual removal; the initial embodied energy of a structure is the energy consumed to extract, deliver, the materials. The lifetime embodied energy continues to grow with the use and reuse/recycling/disposal of the building materials themselves and how the materials and design help minimize the life-time energy consumption of the structure. Social costs are injury and health of the people producing and transporting the materials and potential health problems of the building occupants if there are problems with the building biology.
Globalization has had significant impacts on people both in terms of jobs and self-sufficiency are lost when manufacturing facilities are closed and the cultural aspects of where new facilities are opened. Aspects of fair trade and labor rights are social costs of global building material manufacturing. Brush structures are built from plant parts and were used in primitive cultures such as Native Americans and pygmy peoples in Africa These are built with branches and leaves, bark, similar to a beaver's lodge; these were variously named wikiups, lean-tos, so forth. An extension on the brush building idea is the wattle and daub process in which clay soils or dung cow, are used to fill in and cover a woven brush structure; this gives the structure more thermal strength. Wattle and daub is one of the oldest building techniques. Many older timber frame buildings incorporate wattle and daub as non load bearing walls between the timber frames. Snow and ice, were used by the Inuit peoples for igloos and snow is used to build a shelter called a quinzhee.
Ice has been used for ice hotels as a tourist attraction in northern climates. Clay based buildings come in two distinct types. One being when the walls are made directly with the mud mixture, the other being walls built by stacking air-dried building blocks called mud bricks. Other uses of clay in building is combined with straws to create light clay and daub, mud plaster. Wet-laid, or damp, walls are made by using the mud or clay mixture directly without forming blocks and drying them first; the amount of and type of each material in the mixture used leads to different styles of buildings. The deciding factor is connected with the quality of the soil being used. Larger amounts of clay are employed in building with cob, while low-clay soil is associated with sod house or sod roof construction; the other main ingredients straw/grasses. Rammed earth is both an old and newer take on creating walls, once made by compacting clay soils between planks by hand. Soil, clay, provides good the
Resort architecture or Bäder architecture is an architectural style, characteristic of spas and seaside resorts on the German Baltic coast. The style evolved since the foundation of Heiligendamm in 1793, flourished around the year 1870, when resorts were connected to big cities via railway lines; until today, many buildings on the German coasts are built in the style or feature distinct elements of resort architecture. Single free-standing mansions featuring resort architecture are called Bädervilla, translating as Resort Mansion or Spa Villa; the architecture of inland health spas in Central Europe, in Thuringia, the Czech Republic or Switzerland for instance, is referred to as spa architecture. The architectural style of resort architecture was developed since the foundation of Heiligendamm in Mecklenburg in 1793, the first continental European seaside resort, as a style mixture that should appeal to the upper class, like the aristocracy and businessmen of Europe; the style received a boost with the railway lines connecting the booming seaside resorts of Germany to European metropolitan areas in the late 19th and early 20th century.
It can be a variation of several styles with new elements, including historicism and Art Nouveau, for instance. It is characterised by two to four storey buildings whose façades are decorated with balconies and verandas. In larger villas there are central avants-corps. Arched or rectangular windows predominate flanked by half-columns or blind pilasters. Triangular gables and also curved gables or small turrets close off the ends of the attics. What is special about this form of architecture is its basic composition in classical styles that are freely combined and which may be mixed with art nouveau ornamentation, for instance on the capitals; the most common colour is white, why the health spas are described as "white pearls". As a result, the rare examples in colour, for example, painted in Bordeaux red, olive green, beige or blue, set amongst their white counterparts, are striking. Overall the buildings appear rather delicate and are built of wood with a core of stone. Among the best-known examples today are those found on the Baltic coast on the island of Rügen, for instance in Sellin, Binz or Göhren.
Heiligendamm near Bad Doberan is the oldest German seaside spa. Entire ensembles in white with coloured buildings are found in the parish of Heringsdorf on the island of Usedom; as well as in Kühlungsborn. One of the oldest buildings featuring the resort style was built by Georg Bernhard von Bülow in 1845 in Heringsdorf, Villa Achterkerke. One of the art-historically most important buildings, is the Villa Oechsler in Heringsdorf, built in 1883 by Antonio Salviati; the Wolgaster Holzbau company was internationally known for their chalet-inspired resort architecture wooden mansions. They were the first in the world to build prefabricated houses in the 19th century, in places such as Ahlbeck, Bansin and Heringsdorf. Most important coastal areas with seaside resorts in Germany: Baltic Sea: islands of Fehmarn, Hiddensee, Rügen, Usedom. Notable examples of resort architecture are to be found in seaside spas all along the Baltic coast in these regions. Juodkrantė Klaipėda Neringa Nida Palanga Dziwnów Łeba Kamień Pomorski Kołobrzeg Międzyzdroje Mielno Sopot Świnoujście Ustka Ustronie Morskie Władysławowo Jantarny Rybachy Svetlogorsk Zelenogradsk Baile Herculane Borsec Buzias Govora Sinaia Slanic Moldova Sovata Susanne Grötz, Ursula Quecke: Balnea.
Architekturgeschichte des Bades. Jonas Verlag für Kunst und Literatur, Marburg 2006, ISBN 3-89445-363-X. Reno Stutz, Thomas Grundner: Bäderarchitektur in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Hinstorff, Rostock 2004, ISBN 3-356-01033-6. Wolfgang Schneider, Torsten Seegert: Pommersche Bäderarchitektur. Entstehung und Entwicklung. Ostseebad Binz. Heimat-Bild-Verlag, Gifhorn 2003, ISBN 3-9810092-0-7. Wilhelm Hüls, Ulf Böttcher: Bäderarchitektur. Hinstorff Verlag, Rostock 1998, ISBN 3-356-00791-2. Seaside Resorts in MV - 200 years of bathing culture "Bäderarchitektur in Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf und Bansin". Eigenbetrieb Kaiserbäder Insel Usedom. Retrieved 2009-06-07. "euromaxx - Serie: Inselgeschichten 04 - Rügen". Deutsche Welle TV. Retrieved 2009-06-07
Modern architecture, or modernist architecture was based upon new and innovative technologies of construction the use of glass and reinforced concrete. It emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II until the 1980s, when it was replaced as the principal style for institutional and corporate buildings by postmodern architecture. Modern architecture emerged at the end of the 19th century from revolutions in technology and building materials, from a desire to break away from historical architectural styles and to invent something, purely functional and new; the revolution in materials came first, with the use of cast iron, plate glass, reinforced concrete, to build structures that were stronger and taller. The cast plate glass process was invented in 1848, allowing the manufacture of large windows; the Crystal Palace by Joseph Paxton at the Great Exhibition of 1851 was an early example of iron and plate glass construction, followed in 1864 by the first glass and metal curtain wall.
These developments together led to the first steel-framed skyscraper, the ten-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago, built in 1884 by William Le Baron Jenney. The iron frame construction of the Eiffel Tower the tallest structure in the world, captured the imagination of millions of visitors to the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. French industrialist François Coignet was the first to use iron-reinforced concrete, that is, concrete strengthened with iron bars, as a technique for constructing buildings. In 1853 Coignet built the first iron reinforced concrete structure, a four-story house in the suburbs of Paris. A further important step forward was the invention of the safety elevator by Elisha Otis, first demonstrated at the Crystal Palace exposition in 1852, which made tall office and apartment buildings practical. Another important technology for the new architecture was electric light, which reduced the inherent danger of fires caused by gas in the 19th century; the debut of new materials and techniques inspired architects to break away from the neoclassical and eclectic models that dominated European and American architecture in the late 19th century, most notably eclecticism and Edwardian architecture, the Beaux-Arts architectural style.
This break with the past was urged by the architectural theorist and historian Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. In his 1872 book Entretiens sur L'Architecture, he urged: "use the means and knowledge given to us by our times, without the intervening traditions which are no longer viable today, in that way we can inaugurate a new architecture. For each function its material; this book influenced a generation of architects, including Louis Sullivan, Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, Antoni Gaudí. At the end of the 19th century, a few architects began to challenge the traditional Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles that dominated architecture in Europe and the United States; the Glasgow School of Art designed by Charles Rennie MacIntosh, had a facade dominated by large vertical bays of windows. The Art Nouveau style was launched in the 1890s by Victor Horta in Belgium and Hector Guimard in France. In Barcelona, Antonio Gaudi conceived architecture as a form of sculpture. In 1903–1904 in Paris Auguste Perret and Henri Sauvage began to use reinforced concrete only used for industrial structures, to build apartment buildings.
Reinforced concrete, which could be molded into any shape, which could create enormous spaces without the need of supporting pillars, replaced stone and brick as the primary material for modernist architects. The first concrete apartment buildings by Perret and Sauvage were covered with ceramic tiles, but in 1905 Perret built the first concrete parking garage on 51 rue de Ponthieu in Paris. Henri Sauvage added another construction innovation in an apartment building on Rue Vavin in Paris. Between 1910 and 1913, Auguste Perret built the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, a masterpiece of reinforced concrete construction, with Art Deco sculptural bas-reliefs on the facade by Antoine Bourdelle; because of the concrete construction, no columns blocked the spectator's view of the stage. Otto Wagner, in Vienna, was another pioneer of the new style. In his book Moderne Architektur he had called for a more rationalist style of architecture, based on "modern life", he designed a stylized ornamental metro station at Karlsplatz in Vienna an ornamental Art Nouveau residence, Majolika House, before moving to a much more geometric and simplified style, without ornament, in the Austrian Postal Savings Bank.
Wagner declared his intention to express the function of the building in its exterior. The reinforced concrete exterior was covered with plaques of marble attached with bolts of polished aluminum; the interior was purely functional and spare, a large open space of steel and concrete where the only decoration was the structure itself. The Viennese architect Adolf Loos began removing any ornament from his buildings, his S
Colonialism is the policy of a nation seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories with the aim of opening trade opportunities. The colonizing country seeks to benefit from the colonized land mass. In the process, colonizers imposed their religion and medicinal practices on the natives; some argue this was a positive move toward modernization, while other scholars counter that this is an intrinsically Eurocentric rationalization, given that modernization is itself a concept introduced by Europeans. Colonialism is regarded as a relationship of domination of an indigenous majority by a minority of foreign invaders where the latter rule in pursuit of its interests. Early records of colonization go as far back as Phoenicians, an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550 BC to 300 BC and the Greeks and Persians continued on this line of setting up colonies; the Romans would soon follow, setting up colonies throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, Western Asia.
In the 9th century a new wave of Mediterranean colonization had begun between competing states such as the Islamic Ottomans and the Venetians and Amalfians, invading the wealthy Byzantine or Eastern Roman islands and lands. Venice began with the conquest of Dalmatia and reached its greatest nominal extent at the conclusion of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, with the declaration of the acquisition of three octaves of the Byzantine Empire. In the 15th century some European states established their own empires during the European colonial period; the Belgian, Danish, French, Russian and Swedish empires established colonies across large areas. Imperial Japan, the Ottoman Empire and the United States acquired colonies, as did imperialist China and in the late 19th century the German and the Italian. At first, European colonizing countries followed policies of mercantilism, in order to strengthen the home economy, so agreements restricted the colonies to trading only with the metropole. By the mid-19th century, the British Empire gave up mercantilism and trade restrictions and adopted the principle of free trade, with few restrictions or tariffs.
Christian missionaries were active in all of the colonies because the Colonialists were Christians. Historian Philip Hoffman calculated that by 1800, before the Industrial Revolution, Europeans controlled at least 35% of the globe, by 1914, they had gained control of 84%. In the aftermath of World War II, the archetypal European colonial system ended between 1945–1975, when nearly all Europe's colonies gained political independence. Collins English Dictionary defines colonialism as "the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas". Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary defines colonialism as "the system or policy of a nation seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories"; the Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers four definitions, including "something characteristic of a colony" and "control by one power over a dependent area or people". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy "uses the term'colonialism' to describe the process of European settlement and political control over the rest of the world, including the Americas and parts of Africa and Asia".
It discusses the distinction between colonialism and imperialism and states that "given the difficulty of distinguishing between the two terms, this entry will use colonialism as a broad concept that refers to the project of European political domination from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries that ended with the national liberation movements of the 1960s". In his preface to Jürgen Osterhammel's Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview, Roger Tignor says "For Osterhammel, the essence of colonialism is the existence of colonies, which are by definition governed differently from other territories such as protectorates or informal spheres of influence." In the book, Osterhammel asks, "How can'colonialism' be defined independently from'colony?'" He settles on a three-sentence definition: Colonialism is a relationship between an indigenous majority and a minority of foreign invaders. The fundamental decisions affecting the lives of the colonized people are made and implemented by the colonial rulers in pursuit of interests that are defined in a distant metropolis.
Rejecting cultural compromises with the colonized population, the colonizers are convinced of their own superiority and their ordained mandate to rule. Historians distinguish between various overlapping forms of colonialism, which are classified into four types: settler colonialism, exploitation colonialism, surrogate colonialism, internal colonialism. Settler colonialism involves large-scale immigration motivated by religious, political, or economic reasons, it pursues to replace the original population. Here, a large number of people emigrate to the colony for the purpose of staying and cultivating the land. Australia, Israel, South Africa, the United States are all examples of current settler colonial societies. Exploitation colonialism involves fewer colonists and focuses on the exploitation of natural resources or population as labor to the benefit of the metropole; this category includes trading posts as well as larger colonies where colonists would constitute much of the political and economic administration.
Prior to the end of the slave trade and widespread abolition, when indigenous labor was unavailable, slaves were imported to the Americas, first by the Portuguese Empire, by the Spanish, Dutch and British. Surrogate colonialism involves a set
St. Vitus Cathedral
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus and Adalbert is a Roman Catholic metropolitan cathedral in Prague, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Until 1997, the cathedral was dedicated only to Saint Vitus, is still named only as St. Vitus Cathedral; this cathedral is a prominent example of Gothic architecture and is the largest and most important church in the country. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, the cathedral is under the ownership of the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex. Cathedral dimensions are 124 by 60 metres, the main tower is 102.8 metres high, front towers 82 metres, arch height 33.2 metres. The current cathedral is the third of a series of religious buildings at the site, all dedicated to St. Vitus; the first church was an early Romanesque rotunda founded by Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in 930. This patron saint was chosen because Wenceslaus had acquired a holy relic – the arm of St. Vitus – from Emperor Henry I.
It is possible that Wenceslaus, wanting to convert his subjects to Christianity more chose a saint whose name sounds much like the name of Slavic solar deity Svantevit. Two religious populations, the increasing Christian and decreasing pagan community, lived in Prague castle at least until the 11th century. In the year 1060, as the bishopric of Prague was founded, prince Spytihněv II embarked on building a more spacious church, as it became clear the existing rotunda was too small to accommodate the faithful. A much larger and more representative Romanesque basilica was built in its spot. Though still not reconstructed, most experts agree it was a triple-aisled basilica with two choirs and a pair of towers connected to the western transept; the design of the cathedral nods to Romanesque architecture of the Holy Roman Empire, most notably to the abbey church in Hildesheim and the Speyer Cathedral. The southern apse of the rotunda was incorporated into the eastern transept of the new church because it housed the tomb of St. Wenceslaus, who had by now become the patron saint of the Czech princes.
A bishop's mansion was built south of the new church, was enlarged and extended in the mid 12th-century. Construction of the present-day Gothic Cathedral began on 21 November 1344, when the see of Prague was elevated to an archbishopric. King John of Bohemia laid the foundation stone for the new building; the patrons were the chapter of cathedral, the Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice, above all, Charles IV, King of Bohemia and a soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, who intended the new cathedral to be a coronation church, family crypt, treasury for the most precious relics of the kingdom, the last resting place cum pilgrimage site of patron saint Wenceslaus. The first master builder was a Frenchman Matthias of Arras, summoned from the Papal Palace in Avignon. Matthias designed the overall layout of the building as an import of French Gothic: a triple-naved basilica with flying buttresses, short transept, five-bayed choir and decagon apse with ambulatory and radiating chapels. However, he lived to build only the easternmost parts of the choir: the ambulatory.
The slender verticality of Late French Gothic and clear rigid respect of proportions distinguish his work today. After Matthias' death in 1352, 23-year-old Peter Parler assumed control of the cathedral workshop as master builder, he was son of the architect of the Heilig-Kreuz-Münster in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Parler only worked on plans left by his predecessor, building the sacristy on the north side of the choir and the chapel on the south. Once he finished all that Matthias left unfinished, he continued according to his own ideas. Parler's bold and innovative design brought in a unique new synthesis of Gothic elements in architecture; this is best exemplified in the vaults he designed for the choir. The so-called Parler's vaults or net-vaults have double diagonal ribs that span the width of the choir-bay; the crossing pairs of ribs create a net-like construction, which strengthens the vault. They give a lively ornamentation to the ceiling, as the interlocking vaulted bays create a dynamic zigzag pattern the length of the cathedral.
While Matthias of Arras was schooled as a geometer, thus putting an emphasis on rigid systems of proportions and clear, mathematical compositions in his design, Parler was trained as a sculptor and woodcarver. He treated architecture as a sculpture as if playing with structural forms in stone. Aside from his bold vaults, the peculiarities of his work can be seen in the design of pillars, the ingenious dome vault of new St Wenceslaus chapel, the undulating clerestory walls, the original window tracery and the blind tracery panels of the buttresses. Architectural sculpture was given a considerable role while Parler was in charge of construction, as can be seen in the corbels, the passageway lintels, in the busts on the triforium, which depict faces of the royal family, Prague bishops, the two master builders, including Parler himself. Work on the cathedral, proceeded because the Emperor commissioned Parler with many other projects, such as the construction of the new Charles Bridge in Prague and many churches throughout the Czech realm.
By 1397, when Peter Parler died, only the choir and parts of the transept were finished. A
Austria the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2, a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion, it is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps; the majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history.
As archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. Austria was involved in both world wars. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms; the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
It is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, adopted the euro currency in 1999; the German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" - because it is steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976; the word "Austria" was first recorded in the 12th century. At the time, the Danube basin of Austria was the easternmost extent of Bavaria; the Central European land, now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.
Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Avars. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, introduced Christianity; as part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976; the first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March. In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished; as a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia assumed control of the duchies of Austria and Carinthia. His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception; the Habsburgs began to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family. In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs. In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule. Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606.
The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times, of which some are c