History of Austria



900- 700 BC Appearance and rise of Hallstatt culture

15 BC Ancient Roman Empire spreads into Noricum

976- 1246 AD Babenberg dynasty rules over Eastern March of the Holy Roman Empire that covers several modern countries in the Central Europe

1276 Rudolf of Habsburg begins rule of the Habsburg family in Austria

1519 Chalres V becomes new Holy Roman Emperor

1618- 48 Thirty Years' War. Central Europe including Austria is devastated by a bloody conflict

1683 Siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Turkish troops. One of the common stories claim that after defeat of the Turkish army citizens of Vienna threw a party. Since Turkish were Muslims Austrians made croissants in a shape of a Muslim crescent in order to mock their enemies. In fact French word "croissant" means "crescent".

1740- 80 Reign of Maria Theresa

1805 Battle of Austerlitz. Napoleon Bonaparte leads French troops to victory over Austrians and Russians

1815 Congress of Vienna. Coalition of several countries draw pacts after completion of Napoleonic Wars

1848 Revolutions throughout Europe shake Austria

1914- 18 World War I

1918 Austrians loose World War I and Habsburg dynasty losses their throne

1938 Anschluss. Austria becomes part of the Third Reich and joins Hitler's Empire.

1941- 45 World War II

1994 Austria joins European Union


The history of human settlement in Austria begins 100,000 years ago. Gaul tribes ruled the land for centuries. In the first century AD the Roman conquered these lands turning the lands into a Roman province. In the third and fourth centuries the Roman Empire crumbled under attacks of invading Huns, Avars, Alans and Slavic tribes. In the ninth century Germanic tribes soon followed. In the 12th century Austria gained considerable autonomy and started to expand its borders. In the 15th century Austrian dukes become emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.


In the 18th century Austria reached a peak of its power. In 1804 it becomes an Austrian Empire. Austrian emperors controlled the whole of Italy, Belgium, Romania, large part of Poland, Serbia, Hungary, Western Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Czech Republic. The power of the state decreased after losses in the duration of the Napoleonic Wars and unsuccessful struggle with Prussia for hegemony of the German states. In 1867 Austrian Empire is a transformed to a dual monarchy and becomes Austro- Hungarian Empire. After a series of defeats during World War I from the Russian forces under leadership of Alexei Alexeevich Brusilov, Austro- Hungarian Empire ceased to exist. In 1918 it broke apart into two independent nation- states of Austria and Hungary. Austria became a republic until 1938 then Adolf Hitler, an Austrian native annexed the country and added it to his Third Reich. Subsequent defeat in the World War II led to new victims and destruction. Through most of the second part of the twentieth century Austria kept certain degree neutrality developing into a thriving state.