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Enhance Your Understanding of Austrians

Aug 18, 2007
Austria is a landlocked country in central Europe. Austria borders Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The capital of Austrian is Vienna.

With an area of 83 858 sq km Austria consists of 9 independent federal states. Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Vienna with their own provincial governments. The federal legislation is exercised by the national council together with the Upper House of Parliament the two chambers of Parliament.

Austria is a member of the European Union, the United Nations as well as most UN organizations.

Of the approximately 8 million inhabitants of Austria, 98 percent speak German. The six ethnic groups officially recognized in Austria, Burgenlandic, Croatians, Roma, Slovaks, Slovenians, Czechs and Hungarians are concentrated in the east and south of the country.

Approximately 74 percent of Austrians are Roman Catholic, 5 percent are Protestant, and the rest belongs to other faiths.

Austria is located in a temperate climatic zone with a Central European climate influenced by the Atlantic climate. The four seasons spring, summer, autumn and winter each have typical temperature and climatic characters.

Due to the topographical diversity and the relatively large west east expanse, there are three differentiating climatic regions. In the east the climate with a continental influence is low precipitation and has hot summers but only moderately cold winters.

Alpine Regions have high precipitation short summers, long winters. Remainder of the country transient climate influenced by the Atlantic in the West and a continental influence in the South east.

Austria has a strong economy with machinery, metallurgical products and textiles being of particular importance. The countries most important industry, however, is tourism.

Like most European countries, Austria looks back on a very eventful history. Yet there are some elements of the Austrian character that havent changed much over the centuries, the partiality for indulgence, beauty, and cultivation have always been driving forces in the countries past and present.

It is a wonderfully uncomplicated place to visit. Its in the heart of Europe, most people speak English and there is a spectacular combination of cultural and natural attractions. Like everywhere, there are national peculiarities that you will not find described in standard guidebooks, which is a pity, because the following quintessentially Austrian expressions, institutions and mannerisms are integral parts of the real Austrian experience. Some of them may seem trivial, but knowing them will earn you kudos points among locals and enhance your understanding of Austrians.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Austria Rental Site
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