Description of Austria
Austria (in German, Österreich), officially the
Republic of Austria (in German, Republik Österreich), is a Central
European State, Member State of the European Union, with capital in
Vienna, which has a population of 8.5 million inhabitants. Austria
borders the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and
Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and
Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Austria has no outlet to
the sea. However, it is traversed in a significant part by the
Danube river, navigable river for a large part of its channel and
which allows ships of various sizes to navigate through the various
riverine countries to its mouth. The territory of Austria covers
83,871 km² of surface and has a predominantly alpine climate. Only
32% of the country is below 500 meters of altitude, and the highest
point is the Gross Glockner peak with 3798 meters of altitude above
sea level.The majority of the population speaks German which is also
the official language, but other languages that are official are
also spoken in some specific areas such as Croatian, Slovenian and
The origins of modern Austria go back to the
Habsburg dynasty that made the country a fundamental part of the
Holy Roman Empire. In 1867 the Austrian Empire became the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Habsburg Empire ended in 1918 at the
end of the First World War. The First Republic of Austria was
established in 1919. In 1938, through the process known as the
Anschluss, the country was occupied by Nazi Germany. This occupation
would last until the end of the Second World War, when Austria would
regain its independence and the Second Republic of Austria would be
created in 1955.
At present, Austria has a parliamentary
government with a representative democracy composed of the nine
states of Austria, the largest city in Austria is its capital,
Vienna, with a population of 1.79 million inhabitants. Austria is
one of the richest countries in the world, with a per capita income
of € 38,500 in 2014. The country also has one of the highest rates
of Human Development Index and an unemployment rate of 9,1 in 2015.
Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and of
the European Union since 1995. It is also a founding member of the
OECD. The currency in course is the euro, adopted in 1999.
The name of the country comes from the ancient
German Ostarreіch - "Eastern State". The name "Austria" was first
mentioned in a document dated November 1, 996.
flag is one of the oldest state symbols in the world. According to
legend, in 1191, during one of the battles of the Third Crusade, the
snow-white shirt of Leopold V was completely splattered with blood.
When the duke took off his wide belt, a white stripe formed on his
shirt. The combination of these colors became his banner, and in the
future the flag of the Republic of Austria.
In honor of
Austria, the asteroid (136) Austria is named, discovered March 18,
1874 by the Austrian astronomer Johann Paliz at the Austro-Hungarian
Maritime Observatory in Pula.
Travel Destinations in Austria
Vienna (German: Wien, Austro-Bavarian: Wean) is an Austrian
state. It is the capital of the Republic of Austria and by
far the largest city in Austria with its population of more
than 1.7 million. As you'd expect it's Austria's cultural,
economic, and political centre. As the former home of the
Habsburg court and its various empires, the city still has
the trappings of the imperial capital it once was, and the
historic city centre is inscribed on the UNESCO World
Salzburg, (German: Salzburg or Salzburgerland, lit. Salt
castle) is one of the smaller provinces of Austria.
Composing of an area of about 7,100 km², there are only
500,000 people. Most of the area is covered by the Alps,
only the northern part is flat. There you can find the
largest city and capital of the state Salzburg. The most
important forms of income are tourism and agriculture. The
Arts are an important part of the Salzburger tradition: home
to Mozart, the annual Salzburg Festival, and the mystery
play Jedermann (Everyman). Salzburg province also shares
much of its rural regional and provincial culture with
neighboring Bavaria and Tyrol. This makes it a wonderful
place to experience both the high culture of the Mozart era
and the true alpine Austrian culture at its purest.
Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave
Hohe Tauern National Park
|Vorarlberg is the westermost federal state of
Austria, sharing borders with the countries of Germany
(Bavaria), Liechtenstein, and Switzerland and the Austrian
federal-state of Tyrol. Vorarlberg also enjoys a small window on
Lake Constance via the city of Bregenz. It is the richest and
most well to do province of Austria outside Vienna. For its size
it offers a lot of diverse landscape including everything Tyrol
has to offer with the exception of a large city.
Geography of Austria
Austria is located in the Central Europe. It borders Czech
Republic in the North East, Slovakia in East, Hungary in the
South and Slovenia, Italy in the West. Liechtenstein,
Switzerland and Germany in the North. Major rivers include
Danube, Moore, Drava, Inn and Salzach. Additionally there are
numerous mountain lakes in picturesque valleys in the Alps.
Approximately 70% of the country is occupied by the Alps
mountain range. The highest point in Austria is peak
Grossglockner (3997 meters).
Language in Austria
The official language of Austria is German. Although it is in
accent, pronunciation and rhythm. Rural alpine areas also
speak German, but even native Germans- speaking citizen have
difficulty understanding each other.
Religion in Austria
About 78% of the population are Catholics, 5% are Protestants,
2% are Muslims and about 12% are atheists.
The country uses Euro as its official currency.
Political system of Austria
Austria is a parliamentary republic. The head of the government
is a Federal president who is chosen every six years. The head
of the government is Federal counselor. Parliament of Austria is
double chambered Federal Assembly, which consists of of the
Federal Council and the National Council.
Safety while you travel in Austria
In recent years the number of crimes have increased. These
usually include petty crimes such as pick pocketing, stealing of
handbags and other personal property. So avoid large groups of
people since this offers the best opportunity for thieves.
Emergency Service 120
Fire Service 122
Opening hours vary from museum to museum. The day off for museum
is usually a Monday. Most of small stores usually have lunch
hour from 12 to 1pm then they are closed. Large stores however
stay open without lunch breaks. Businesses usually close from
6pm to 8pm. Banks are open on weekdays.
Contrary to popular perceptions, Austria is not all about
mountains. While the Alps do cover 3/4 of the country dominating the
provinces of Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg, Styria, Upper Austria and
Carinthia, the eastern provinces of Lower Austria, the Burgenland
and the federal capital of Vienna are more similar to the geography
of the neighbouring Czech Republic and Hungary. This diverse mix of
landscapes is packed into a relatively small area of size. Glaciers,
meadows, alpine valleys, wooded foothills, gently rolling farmland,
vineyards, river gorges, plains and even semi-arid steppes can be
found in Austria.
One quarter of Austria's population lives
in Greater Vienna, a European metropolis, located where the Danube
meets the easternmost fringe of the Alps, not far from the border
with Slovakia and its capital Bratislava.
government, financial and cultural institutions, as well as national
media and large corporations are based in Vienna, due largely to
history and geography. Thus, the capital dominates Austria's
cultural and political life and is clearly a world unto its own. It
has little to do with the rest of mainly rural Austria and outside
of Graz and Linz there really are no other large scale cities in the
country. There is a playful joke told in Vorarlberg province
regarding the dominance of Vienna regarding national affairs that
reads, "the people of western Austria make the money and Vienna
Austria has a temperate continental
climate. Summers last from early June to mid-September and can be
hot in some years and rainy in others. Day-time temperatures in July
and August are around 25°C (77°F), but can often reach 35°C (95°F).
Winters are cold in the lowlands and very harsh in the Alpine region
with temperatures often dropping below -10°C (14°F). Winters last
from December to March (longer at higher altitudes). In the Alpine
region large temperature fluctuations occur all year round and
nights are chilly even in high summer. The northern Alps are
generally a lot wetter than the rest of the country. The South East
(Styria and Carinthia) is dry and sunny. The area around Vienna
often experiences strong easterly winds.
Electricity is supplied at 220 to 230V, 50Hz. Outlets are the
European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" or the
compatible, but non-grounded, CEE-7/16 "Europlug" types. Generally
speaking, U.S. and Canadian travellers should pack an adapter and a
converter for these outlets if they plan to use North American
electrical equipment in Austria.
Austria is a member of the Schengen Agreement.
There are no border controls between countries that have signed and
implemented this treaty - the European Union (except Bulgaria,
Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland,
Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for
any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed
and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have
signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of
the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks
but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a
non-EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs
(travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country).
Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more
information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements
To stay longer than 90 days, a non-EU foreigner will
need either a long-stay visa (valid for up to 6 months) or an
Aufenthaltstitel (residence permit). Visa-exempt visitors may be
able to acquire a residence permit inside Austria after entry, but
consulates do not recommend this route due to processing times for
the permits and that the permit must be obtained within the initial
90-day period of stay.
One of the ways to stay in the country
for longer than 90 days is to study on a study visa, for example by
studying on a TEFL course run by the English Teacher Training
College at one of several campuses around Austria or a larger
university like Vienna or Salzburg.
There are 6
airports in Austria with scheduled flights. The most important
international airport is Vienna which has connection to all major
airports of the world. Other international airports include Graz,
Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Salzburg which provide domestic
flights as well as connections to some European countries. Those
airports are particularly popular with cheap airlines such as
Ryanair. For travelling to the western states it is recommended to
use the very close Munich airport.
The most common airports
to visit Vorarlberg are Altenrhein (Austrian), Friedrichshafen
(Ryanair, Intersky) and Zurich (Swiss).
If visiting Austria
for winter sports, choose airport considering cost and duration for
the whole trip (plane+transfer), not always Vienna and even likely
not in Austria.
Unlike many countries, getting in to Austria
for skiing shouldn't imply flying to the capital city first. Vienna
itself is a 4 hour drive away from the nearest medium-sized resort,
and longer by public transport. See more in GetIn section of Winter
sports in Austria.
Austrian Airlines: Baby
strollers weighting over 10kg should be checked in as a luggage;
strollers below 10kg are allowed up until the aircraft board, and
taken by personnel right at the entrance to the aircraft. See also a
dedicated page on flying by Austrian with children: .
Bus is not always the cheapest way to travel though deep discounts
for advanced bookings are being introduced for long-distance travel
(as far as from Warsaw to Austria for €4). The bus may also be the
cheapest option if you want to travel at short notice or if you have
large amounts of luggage. Bus travel is especially interesting for
those coming from the East as there are many buses into Vienna and
they are often faster than trains. Information about their assorted
services and pricing is can be found in that section.
Eurolines Austria is the largest operator and organizer of bus
travel in Austria though many services are not included in their
Due to the large Balkan diaspora after the
Yugoslav wars in the 90's, there are numerous bus companies serving
the main Austrian cities (such as Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Graz,
Innsbruck, etc.) to many destinations in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia
and Herzegovina, with prices as low as 45 or 50 EUR for a return
ticket from Belgrade to Vienna.
Austria and all its neighbouring countries are Schengen
members so in theory there are no border controls. However, because
of the current migrant crisis, Austria and some other countries in
the EU temporarily reintroduced controls on some border crossing
points, so you should count in some possible delay especially when
crossing borders in northern or western direction (e.g. travelling
from Hungary to Austria or Austria to Germany). For using the
Autobahnen or Schnellstrassen, a vignette, or tax sticker, must be
purchased. Costs for cars are approx €90 for one year, €25 for 8
weeks, or about €8.50 for 10 days. For motorcycles, the prices are
about 50% cheaper. Vehicles above 3.5 tonnes maximum permitted laden
weight must carry a so called "GO-BOX" instead of the vignette - a
small eletronic device, which uses the high frequency range to
communicate with toll points and calculate the distance based fees.
On some Saturdays in July and August expect traffic jams on the
motorways between Germany, Austria and Italy when millions of German
tourists head south at the beginning of school vacations. A delay of
about 2 hours is not unusual. The motorway A10 between Salzburg and
Villach is especially notorious. It's best to avoid those Saturdays.
Motorway A8 from Munich to Salzburg.
A93 from Rosenheim via Kufstein to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
from Leutkirch via Wangen to Bregenz, Vorarlberg.
Regensburg via Passau to Linz, Upper Austria.
Motorway A23 (E55) via Tarvisio to Villach, Carinthia.
A22 (E45) via Brenner to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
E57 via Spielfeld to Graz, Styria.
Austria has plenty of connections with all its
neighbours daily. Every neighbouring countries (even Liechtenstein)
have trains at least hourly. Many (Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany,
Slovakia, Switzerland) even more frequently. The ÖBB (Austrian
Railways) operate high-speed ICE and RailJet trains from cities like
Zurich, Munich,Frankfurt, Passau, and Budapest. Eurocity trains are
the next fastest trains available as well as the trains connecting
the bigger Austrian cities called Intercity. Regional trains called
EURegio and simply Regionalzug are also available from all 8 of
Vienna is the largest railway hub by
day and also night trains from most Central European countries,
which travel to many stops across Austria. Day trains are normally
much quicker than night trains. Tickets can be purchased from
certain locations to Austria via the ÖBB website. Always compare
fares from the departure or even transit countries' railways as
there may be price difference even for the same train. ÖBB offers
discount 'SparSchiene' tickets to and from destinations like
Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, and
Switzerland for a flat-rate (i.e. €29 for a one-way seater, €39 for
a couchette, or €59 for a sleeper). There are a limited number of
tickets at this price. At peak times you need to book in advance.
Additional offers are available to all countries in Central Europe,
although many cannot be booked online.
Information for train
In Austria most railways run electrically. Most electric
trains get their power from a single-phase AC network. This network
uses its own power lines run with 15 kV. In contrast to normal power
lines, these employ a number of conductors that is not divisible by
3 - most power lines for the single phase AC grid of the traction
power grid have four conductors. There are many interesting mountain
railways of all types and trains from around central Europe.
By Foot or bicycle
Many trails, pedestrian and bicycle bridges
and ferries exist around Austria's borders. Details can be found in
By train and bus
Trains are the best and most common form of
public transport in Austria. Comfortable and moderately priced
trains connect major cities and many towns; buses serve less
significant towns and lakes. The two forms of transport are
integrated and designed to complement each other, and intercity
coaches exist but don't provide anywhere near the level of intercity
Austrian trains are operated mostly by
state-owned company ÖBB. The Raaberbahn (GySEV) provides some trains
over Austrian-Hungarian border and there are some short private
railways with tourist trains, these railways supplement rather than
compete with the ÖBB.
The only competitor to the ÖBB is
WestBahn on the Salzburg-Linz-Vienna line (the company shares the
name of the strech it runs on). Rail passes, ÖBB tickets and
VORTEILScard are not valid on WestBahn, buy tickets on-line or
onboard. If you are traveling between Salzburg, Linz, Vienna, and
points between, WestBahn will likely be cheaper than taking ÖBB
(they generally peg their maximum prices to the 50% discounted fares
of the ÖBB available to those (generally residents) who have an ÖBB
VORTEILScard/loyalty card). WestBahn operates directly to more
Viennese destinations than the ÖBB intercity services - half their
services go to Wien Westbahnhof (West Station), the other half use
the S-Bahn tunnel and stop at Wien Meidling, Hauptbahnhof (Main
Station), Quartier Belvedere, Rennweg (S-Bahn to the airport), Mitte
(City Airport Train to the airport), and Praterstern.
wifi on Railjets, newer regional trains, on WestBahn trains, and in
the main train stations.
The ÖBB also operate buses on the
Graz–Klagenfurt–Venice line because the road between these cities is
much shorter that railway.
(S-Bahn/Schnellbahn) – commuter trains offered in several regions
and suburban areas
RSB (Regio S-Bahn) – an express version of the
S-Bahn making limited stops
R (Regionalzug) – slow local trains,
REX (Regionalexpress) – fast regional trains,
stop at more significant stations
D (Schnellzug) - "rapid" train,
normally with poorer service quality than IC/EC.
IC (InterCity) –
long-distance trains connecting major towns and cities.
(EuroCity) – international long-distance trains
EN (EuroNacht) -
overnight intercity (domestic or international) train with sleeping
WB (WestBahn) - private competitor's InterCity
service, through ticketing to/from other trains possible within
regional transporation districts.
ICE (InterCityExpress) – German
RJ (Railjet) – Austria's home-grown high-speed
On suburban and regional trains there is normally only
second class. On ICE, IC and EC trains is second class, which has
sufficiently roomy plush seats, and first class which is more
private and with roomier leather seats. The RailJet offers three
classes Economy which is akin to second class (second class tickets
are valid), First Class featuring leather seats and services like a
welcome drink, while an upgrade from first to Premium Class gives
you even more space and at your seat services.
ÖBB sell domestic tickets using a price based only upon distance
travelled, regardless of when you buy the ticket and which train you
take. Base fare is rather expensive, but Austrian Railways offer
some interesting discounts. If you buy a normal (not
"Sparschiene"/discounted) ticket from Salzburg to Vienna, that
ticket is valid for any train that takes you to Vienna, even for a
foreign train stopping inside Austria. (Exception being any train
operated by WestBahn, you'll recognize these trains by thier white
livery with bright green and blue stripes.)
Tickets can be
ordered (and paid for) on the web, including itineraries coving
connecting trains and involving narrow-gauge, privately-operated,
railways (like in the Zillertal valley). You can also reserve seats
for a small fee: that is definitely recommended if you plan to
travel with luggage. Tickets ordered online should be printed and
presented to the conductor on board upon request. They should be
printed since they will barcode-scanned and stamped.
When purchasing tickets online you're offered two options: to
print the tickets, or to pick it up from OBB machine at station. If
you print the ticket, the cancellation will not be possible (and the
web site warns you about it) - and the customer service department
will not forgive your mistake. You do not have to decide right away,
however - you can decide later. Also after successful purchase you
have a three minute "grace period" where you can undo your purchase,
and get full refund - use it to recheck your ticket information. If
you printed the ticket, you must show it to the conductor, along
with the photo ID matching the name on the ticket and the card used
There are ticket machines at all sizable train
stations and on board some regional trains. When boarding regional
trains you are required to have purchased a ticket before boarding,
if it is possible to buy a ticket via railway office or vending
machine at the station you are departing from. (This includes most
stations. These stations are marked with SB in all ÖBB timetables).
Ticket machines do not display or print itineraries, and many train
stations only display basic timetables. It is best to find an
itinerary on the Austrian Railways website trip planner. Stations
also provide pamphlets with detailed timetables, but they assume
that you know which line to board to get to your destination and can
only be obtained during office hours.
The behind the scenes
of ticketing is a bit more complicated: tickets from local public
transportation authorities (like OÖVV, VVNB, SVV and VOR) are valid
in both ÖBB and WestBahn trains and buses, as well as many other
railways, in the zones they cover. This fare system is parallel to
the railways' own systems and has the advantage of sometimes being
cheaper and/or including connecting local public transport, but
railway discounts don't apply. Machines and agents will
automatically select these tariffs for you if they are cheaper than
the railway tariff. This means that for instance you might be asked
if you have a valid public transportation pass for Vienna, because
your railway ticket can then start at the city limits instead of at
the station you depart at saving you a couple euros.
SparSchiene are cheap tickets offered between major
cities both domestically and internationally. These tickets aren't
based on distance, rather they're cheapest when booking well in
advance online and are tied to a specific train run and time. Though
this offer can be very tempting, especially for those without the
VORTEILScard, do consider that they provide less flexibility than
regular tickets and are not refundable or changeable and are often
sold-out at popular times. For instance SparSchiene tickets from
Salzburg to Klagenfurt can be had for €9 in second class, compared
to €35 regular price, or €18 with VORTEILScard.
you 45-55% reduction on any domestic rail ticket (depending on the
train and whether you buy it online, at a ticket machine or at a
counter) and 25% off on cross-border trains in Europe (RailPlus
discount). The VC is also valid on private railways except the rack
and WestBahn railways. Cards are valid for one year and are first
issued as a temporary paper ticket (printed on the spot and valid
for the first two months). A plastic ID card is then sent out by
mail, normally within two weeks. The VC is available at all ÖBB
station ticket offices and counters. You will need both your
passport to fill out the form and purchase your VORTEILScard. For
VORTEILScard (regular) costs €99.90 if you aren't
eligible for the following.
VORTEILScard costs €19.90 for those
under 26 years.
VORTEILScard Senior costs €26.90 for men and
women over 60 years. (All seniors by this criteria are waived seat
reservation fees, regardless of VorteilsCard.)
limited physical mobility or the handicapped (the visually impaired,
for example) are eligible for certain other versions of the
VORTEILScard at extremely nominal prices, although getting these
with foreign documents can be a challenge. Regardless, though, you
are eligible to have the seat reservation fee waived.)
Einfach-Raus-Ticket can be used by groups of up to 5 people for
unlimited train travel during one day on all Austrian regional
trains (categories S, RSB, R and REX) and trains run by the operator
Raaberbahn. It's valid from 09:00 on weekdays (from midnight on
weekends) until 03:00 the following day and costs €32 online, at
vending machines, at stations or wherever ÖBB tickets are sold.
The lands of modern Austria were conquered by the Romans from the
Celts in 15 BC. e. In the VI – VIII centuries, the territory of the
future Tyrol is occupied by the Germanic Bavarian people, the
territories of the future Austria, Styria and Carinthia are occupied
by the Slavs. In 788, conquered by the Franks. In 803, the Avar
brand was created, in 976 it was renamed the Eastern brand. Since
its inception, Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Tyrol have been
absolute monarchies. In 1156, during the reign of the Babenberg
dynasty, Austria was separated from Bavaria into an independent
duchy, which in 1276 passed to the Habsburgs.
Since 1438, the
dukes of Austria were elected mainly emperors of the Holy Roman
Empire, in 1453 (by this time they were already in personal union),
the duke of Austria received the title of Archduke. In 1526, the
Czech Republic and Croatia were annexed to Austria. As a result of
the Silesian Wars, the country lost Silesia. At the end of the 18th
century, as a result of the partition of Poland, Galicia, Lesser
Poland and Southern Mazovia (as Western Galicia) were annexed to
Austria. In 1687, Hungary joined the union with Austria. As a result
of the wars with France, in 1806, the Archduke of Austria lost the
title of Holy Roman Emperor, but received the title Emperor of
Austria, and since 1815, after the creation of the German Union, the
emperors of Austria were its presidents, the country lost Southern
Mazovia, but received Lombardy and Veneto. In 1859, as a result of
the defeat in the Austro-Italian-French war, it lost Lombardy and
Veneto, in 1866, as a result of the defeat of Austria in the
Austro-Prussian war, the German Union self-dissolved.
1867, the Austrian emperor issued a constitution proclaiming Austria
as a constitutional dualist censored monarchy, the imperial council
consisting of the House of Lords, consisting of the titled nobility,
and the House of Representatives, elected by electors on the basis
of the property qualification according to the majority system in 2
rounds, became the legislative body. the state is the hereditary
emperor, and the executive body is the ministry appointed by the
emperor and held accountable to him. The most influential party was
the Christian Social Party. At the beginning of the 20th century,
universal suffrage was introduced in the elections to the House of
Representatives, the Christian Social Party retained its influence,
but the Social Democratic Party of Austria was on a par with it.
On November 11, 1918, the Kaiser of Austria and King of Hungary
Charles I declared his self-removal from reigning over Austria; on
November 12, 1918, the Reichsrat abolished the monarchy and the
House of Lords, proclaimed the empire a republic of German Austria
and part of the German empire, which automatically entailed the
breakdown of the Austro-Hungarian union and the liquidation
Austria-Hungary. On the same day, the Reichsrat adopted the "Law on
the State Form and Form of Government of German Austria", according
to which elections for the constitutional national assembly were
called for the adoption of the constitution, before it was convened,
the provisional legislative body became the interim national
assembly, which included all members of the 1911 Reichsrat selected
from the German part of Austria. The State Council headed by the
State Chancellor - Social Democrat Karl Renner became the interim
executive body. On November 13, 1918, Charles I declared his
self-removal from the reign of Hungary; on November 16, 1918, the
state assembly abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Kingdom of
Hungary as the Hungarian People's Republic - the breakdown of the
Austro-Hungarian union was recognized by Hungary. On November 14,
members of the Reichsrat from the districts inhabited by Czechs of
Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia formed the Czechoslovak Revolutionary
National Assembly, which proclaimed the Czechoslovak Republic.
On February 16, 1919, elections were held for the constitutional
national assembly, the first place in which was won by the Social
Democratic Labor Party of Austria, and the second place by a small
margin was the Christian Social Party. On March 14, it adopted laws
on national representation and state government, according to which
the constitutional national assembly became the legislative body,
and the state government became the executive body. On September 10,
1919, the Saint-Germain Peace Treaty was signed, Austria was
forbidden to reunite with Germany, she recognized the independence
of Czechoslovakia, Hungary. The regions of Lower Styria, Slavonia,
Dalmatia and Croatia were transferred to the Kingdom of Serbs,
Croats and Slovenes, Transylvania and Bukovina - Romania. On October
21, 1919, it was ratified by the constitutional national assembly,
changing the name of the state to the Republic of Austria. On
October 10, 1920, it adopted a federal constitutional law
proclaiming Austria as a federal democratic parliamentary republic,
establishing the federal assembly as a legislative body consisting
of the federal council and the national council, the federal
government and the posts of the federal president, federal
chancellor, and federal ministers.
On March 4, 1933, Federal
Chancellor Engelbert Dolphus dissolved the federal assembly and a
year later issued the so-called “May Constitution”, which abolished
it. It replaced the people's representation with a corporate one,
the federal legislature became the legislative body, 20 members of
which were appointed by the state council, which, in turn, was
formed by the federal president, 10 - by the federal economic
council formed by trade unions and trade and industrial unions, 10 -
by the federal cultural council created creative unions, 9 - by the
council of lands, which ex officio included zemstvo captains; The
federal government remained the executive body, and the federal
president remained the head of state.
In 1938, the Anschluss
occurred, the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, the federal
lands were transformed into the Reichsgau Vienna, Upper Danube,
Lower Danube, Carinthia, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol-Vorarlberg,
governed by the deputies appointed by the Reich Chancellor of
In April 1945, the troops of the countries of the
anti-Hitler coalition expelled the Wehrmacht from Austria, the
fascist governors were removed, power was transferred to the
provisional land governments (in some lands they were called
provisional land committees), consisting of opponents of fascism. On
April 27, 1945, a provisional state government was created at the
national level from the Social Democrats, the Communists (they
entered before 1947) and the Christian Socialists, led by the State
Chancellor, Social Democrat Karl Renner. The process of
denazification began, to control which the country was occupied by
the troops of four member states of the anti-Hitler coalition and
divided into four zones of occupation: Soviet, British, American and
French. On July 4, 1945, an inter-allied control commission for
Austria, consisting of representatives of the occupying parties, was
created to directly control denazification. In September 1945,
political parties were allowed, the largest of which were the
Socialist Party of Austria, the Austrian People's Party, the
Communist Party of Austria and the Democratic Party. On November 25,
1945, elections to the national council were held. In the fall of
1945, the federal constitutional law of 1919 was restored.
Negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty began in 1947, but
it was concluded only on May 15, 1955, because “when, after many
years of allied occupation, it became clear that the competition
between the West and the USSR for Austria would not bring anyone a
clear victory, in Austria political circles once again awakened
interest in neutrality. Vienna’s military-political equidistance
could become an acceptable formula for resolving the issue of the
withdrawal of Western and Soviet occupation forces. ” In October of
the same year, the Austrian Law of Permanent Neutrality was adopted,
which it still observes. On October 25, all Allied forces from
Austria were withdrawn.
The times of the Cold War brought diplomatic fame to Austria, its
capital Vienna. Representations of the largest international
organizations, including the UN, have settled here. Successfully
developed the post-war economy of the country.
On January 1,
1995, Austria joined the European Union.