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Location of Austria within Europe

Austria is located in the heart of Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Czech Republic and Germany, to the south by Slovenia and Italy, to the west by Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and to the east by Hungary and Slovakia. Its capital city is Vienna.

The origins of modern Austria date back to the ninth century, when the countryside of upper and lower Austria became increasingly populated, the name of Austria Ostarrîchi is first documented in an official document from 996. Since then this word has developed into the German word Österreich.

Austria's political system is that of a federal, parliamentary representative democracy consisting of nine states, it is one of six European countries that have declared permanent neutrality and one of the few countries that includes the concept of everlasting neutrality in their constitution. It is one of Europe's leading industrialised countries,

Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995, it also a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, whose headquarters is based in Vienna.

Selected article


Sachertorte (German pronunciation: [ˈzɑxərˌtɔrtə]) is a chocolate cake, invented by the hotelier Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties, the Original Sachertorte is only made in Vienna and Salzburg, and is shipped from both locations.

The cake consists of two layers of dense, not overly sweet chocolate cake (traditionally a sponge cake) with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and dark chocolate icing on the top and sides, it is traditionally served with whipped cream (Schlagobers) without any sugar in it, as most Viennese consider the Sachertorte too "dry" to be eaten on its own.

The recipe of the Hotel Sacher's version of the cake is a closely-guarded secret.

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Selected biography

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1873)

Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (September 13, 1830 - March 12, 1916) was a writer. Noted for her excellent psychological novels, she is regarded—together with Ferdinand von Saar—as one of the most important German-language writers of the latter portion of the 19th century.

After 1880 she had her story Lotti die Uhrmacherin (Lotte the Watchmaker) published; in 1887 her novel Das Gemeindekind, became one of great importance in literature.

All her life she fought against the "normal" thoughts of their time, she did not write to make a living, but out of conviction and inspiration. Her intention was to convey moral behaviour and humanism.

Starting in 1890 did she find her own dramatic style of writing, her 1888 work Ohne Liebe (Without Love) and 1895 Am Ende (In the end) achieved great success. In 1898 she was awarded the highest Austrian civilian medal, the Honorary Cross for Art and Literature; in 1900 she became the first female honorary doctor of the University of Vienna.

After 1899 she made several trips to Italy and in 1906 published her memoir, she is credited with the famous aphorism "even a stopped clock is right twice a day."


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Did you know...

  • ... that the first record showing the name "Austria" is from 996 where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March?
  • ... that Austria currently produces more than half of its electricity by hydropower?


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