ABOUT Austria

Country Briefs: It is known not just as an arena for major world political events, but also for its strategic location at the crossroads of the central Europe with Alps traversing it from west to east, Austria has several feathers attached to its name.

Austria, officially known as the Republic of Austria is a federal republic. It covers an area of 83,870 square kilometers and is a home to around 8,184,691 people. Austrian neighbors are some of the globally recognized places such as Slovenia and Italy in the South, Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the West, Germany and the Czech republic in the north and Slovakia and Hungary in the east. The capital of Austria is the well-known hub of various political and cultural activities.

Austria has a rich historical background. In the prehistoric era the territory of modern Austria was part of the Hallstatt and Le Tene cultures. Austria was mainly occupied by the Celts during this time.

The 7th century saw Slavs coming and settling into the Alps. They along with the Celto Romanic population established the realm of Karantania that spreads over much of the eastern and central Austrian territory.

In the centuries that followed the Bavarian settled in the Danube and Alps. This turned Austria into a German speaking country as it is today.

Bavarians were defeated and sometime later Charlemagne managed to procure the Austrian throne.

In 1156, Privilegium Minus raised Austria to the status of a duchy. The Babenberg Dukes were most powerful at that time. In 1192 they also acquired the Duchy of Styria through the Georgenberg Pact.

In the 13th century the monarchy of Austria transferred from Babenbergs to Czech King Otakar II. But the German king Rudolf Habsburg took over Austria from Otakar and for the next 640 years the Habsburgs governed Austria. The Habsburgs gathered many provinces during their reign. These provinces also became parts of Austria.

Austria and other Habsburg provinces were greatly affected by the Reformation. Reformation turned many of the provinces of the catholic Habsburgs to Lutheranism. In 1619 when counter-reformation had already begun, Ferdinand II came to power and tried to re-catholicize not only the provinces but Bohemia and Hapsburg Hungary as well. Though these campaigns were running contemporaneous to Thirty Years of War, they were largely successful.

In 1740 to 1748 Austria witnessed the War of Austrian Succession. The war occurred under the rule of Maria Theresa, daughter of Charles VI. Maria Theresa struggled with the Fredrick II of Prussia in the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years of War or the Pomeranian War (1756) opened a long struggle of dominance in the German lands.

After a span of 8 years the War of Austrian Succession ended in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. But soon Austria had to defend the attack by Great Britain, Prussia and Hanover in the Pomeranian War.

Apart from many other big and small political changes, Maria Theresa is primarily remembered for the first partition of Poland in 1772.

Maria Theresa?s son, Joseph II succeeded her. He aimed at carrying out many new reforms and work upon the existing ones. He even tried to consolidate his state by exchanging the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria.

During Joseph It's reign it was not just Austria's economy and agriculture that developed but Austria also progressed socially, culturally, in literature and music.

In 1792, Austria was drawn into French Revolutionary Wars by its then emperor Francis II. The dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire took place in 1804. As a result Francis II took the title of Francis I, emperor of Austria. In 1805 he signed the treaty of Pressburg.


In 1809 Austrians waged a war against napoleon. Austria had lost in the battle of Wargam.

In the nineteenth century Austria came under the rule of Metternich. Austria was the leading power of both the German Confederation and the Holy Alliance then. The Metternich period brought significant cultural, arts and literary developments.

In 1848 the revolutionists drove out Metternich. But soon Vienna was bombarded and the revolutionists were punished by troops under General Windischagratz.

In 1859 Austria lost Lombardy in the Italian war of 1859. In 1864 Austria was involved in the battle of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1866, in the Austro-Prussian war, Austria was again defeated and so it had to cede Venetia to Italy. As a result Austria ceased to be politically active in Germany.

In 1867 there took place a reorganization of Austrian government and a compromise was made with Hungary that resulted in the formation of the dual state known as Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

However in 1918 after the First World War the monarchy was broken. Due to the revolution by Socialists and Pan-German parties, Charles I gave up his dominance and so on 12th November 1918 German Austria was proclaimed a republic and a part of Greater Germany.

In 1919 the Treaty of Saint-Germain fixed the current Austrian borders and forbade any political or economic union with Germany.

Engelbert Dolfuss became the chancellor in 1932. He opposed Anschluss and National Socialism. But the National Socialists assassinated him in 1934.

Kurt von Schuschnigg succeeded Dollfuss. Under tremendous pressure by Germans, Schuschnigg was forced to legalize the operations of the National Socialists. In March 1938 Austria was occupied by German troops and became a part of the Reich.

In 1943 at the end of the Second World War, the allies agreed to re-establish an independent Austria. But in 1945 Soviet and American troops conquered Austria and a provisional government was established under Karl Renner.

Austria gained complete sovereignty on 15th may 1955. On this day a treaty was signed between Great Britain, France, Unite States, USSR and Austria that proclaimed Austria as perpetually neutral.

Austria entered European Union in 1995.

At present Austria has undergone incredible developments in every field and so it is one of the successful nations of the world.

Austria States
States HASC ISO FIPS NUTS UPU Conv Population Area(km.²) Capital Postal Codes
Burgenland AT.BU 1 AU01 AT11 BGL Bgl. 278,600 3,965 Eisenstadt 7xxx
Carinthia AT.KA 2 AU02 AT21 KAE Ktn. 561,114 9,532 Klagenfurt 90xx-98xx
Lower Austria AT.NO 3 AU03 AT12 NOE NÖ. 1,549,640 19,172 Sankt Pölten 2xxx, 3xxx
Salzburg AT.SZ 5 AU05 AT32 SBG Sbg. 518,580 7,154 Salzburg 5xxx
Styria AT.ST 6 AU06 AT22 STM Stm. 1,185,911 16,388 Graz 8xxx
Tyrol AT.TR 7 AU07 AT33 TIR Tirol 675,063 12,650 Innsbruck 60xx-66xx (a)
Upper Austria AT.OO 4 AU04 AT31 OOE OÖ. 1,382,017 11,978 Linz 4xxx
Vienna AT.WI 9 AU09 AT13 WIEN Wien 1,562,676 415 Vienna 1xxx
Vorarlberg AT.VO 8 AU08 AT34 VBG Vbg. 351,565 2,601 Bregenz 67xx-69xx
9 states 8,065,166 83,850  
  • States: The list of states and their capitals has been as shown from 1945 to 2001.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. Note: by taking the first three characters of the NUTS codes, the states can be grouped into three regions: AT1 Ostösterreich, AT2 Südösterreich, and AT3 Westösterreich.
  • UPU: Province codes from "Postal Addressing Systems".
  • Conv: Conventional abbreviations used in Austria.
  • Population: 2001 census (population and area figures provided by Karem Abdalla).
  • Postal Codes: Austrian Postleitzahlen (postal codes, abbreviated PLZ) are four digits. With a few exceptions, the state can be deduced from the first one or two digits. The exceptions are cases where a city is served from a distribution center in a neighboring state. (a) Also 99xx for East Tyrol. Note: postal codes for Austrian addresses can be identified by prefixing them with "A-".
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