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Fun Austrian facts

April 22, 2016

German is the official language of Austria and is spoken by over 88% of the population. Other local languages include Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Turkish and Polish.

 

Austria has a population of over 8 million people as of July 2013, with the capital Vienna having a population of over 1.7 million.

 

Vienna's Central Cemetery, Zentralfriedhof, has over 2.5 million tombs (more than the city's live population), including those of Beethoven, Brahms, Gluck, Schubert, Schoenberg and Strauss.

 

Famous people with Austrian citizenship include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Strauss, Freud, Katharina Schratt, Gustav Klimt, Hitler and Mozart

 

The great Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius died at Vindobona, present-day Vienna, on March 17 in A.D. 180

 

Austria is bordered by 8 countries, Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Hungary and Slovakia to the east.

 

After WW2, Austria swore itself to permanent Neutrality, so although a member of the EU, it is not a member of NATO!

 

In Austria, the Tracht, or traditional folk costume, is accepted as formal wear and can be worn even to an elegant ball at the Viennese Opera. Men wear green Lodenjackets and Lederhosen (leather breeches), and women wear Dirndl dresses.

 

62% of Austria's total land area is covered by the Austrian Alps.

 

Alpine, or downhill, skiing has been the most popular sport in Austria for over 100 years. Mathias Zdarsky organized the first slalom race in 1905.

 

The Krimml Falls (Krimmler Wasserfalle), in the state of Salzburg, are Europe's tallest waterfalls, reaching a height of 380 meters.

 

Founded in 1752 as an animal menagerie by Emperor Franz Stephan, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Tiergarten is the oldest zoo in the world

 

Austria’s flag is one of, if not the, oldest national banners in the world - Legend has it that in 1191 Duke Leopold V got blood splattered on his tunic during battle. When he removed his sash a white band was revealed

 

Artist Adwin Lipburger got into a dispute with authorities over building permits for his spherical house, so decided to declare independence from Austria, he called the land his house was on the “Republic of Kugelmugel” (Ball Hall). Lipburger refused to pay taxes and only the will of the President kept him from jail, the authorities moved his house to Prater Park in Vienna where is still a tourist attraction today…

 

St. Peter Stiftskeller is the oldest still-operating inn/restaurant in the world. It opened in 803 AD. That's more than 1200 years ago!

 

Austria is constantly ranked as having one of the highest standards of living in the world and Vienna nearly always tops the list of the World's Most Livable Cities.

 

If these facts make you want to explore the beautiful Austria, then check out our city breaks in Vienna and Salzburg here. Or if you’d rather check out the amazing ski season, our Austrian ski prices are available online now! Or if you want to stay in the Alps but prefer to visit in summer, then our multi-activity package in Flachau (just an hour outside Salzburg) might be perfect for you! 

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