Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in Central Europe consisting of nine states. It borders Liechtenstein and Switzerland to the west, Italy and Slovenia to the south, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, and Germany and the Czech Republic to the north.
This country, where people have lived since ancient times, BC. It was occupied by the Romans for 100 years. Austria, which was with Germany, was given the title of “Eastern Mark” by Charlemagne in 803. Thus it was established as part of the Germanic Empire. The Habsburg Dynasty, which came to power later on, expanded the borders of the country. Austria, which became one of the most powerful states of Europe and Christians in the 15th century, led the incessant attacks against the Ottomans. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire defeated Hungary in 1529 and then Austria in 1540 with various campaigns. Emperor Ferdinand I signed a treaty with the conditions of leaving Hungary to the Ottoman Empire and paying a tax of 30,000 ducats per year. Thus, the Ottoman attacks came to an end.
As a result of the Ottoman-Holy Alliance Wars, they united with Hungary, which left the Ottoman Empire, and established the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although Austria, which left the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was disintegrated in World War I, wanted to unite with Germany at the end of the war, the victorious states did not allow it. Established as an independent state, the Republic of Austria joined Germany in 1938 by Hitler. II. With the defeat of Germany at the end of World War II, Austria; It was occupied by the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France. In 1955, a treaty was signed with these states and Austria achieved its independence.
Austria stretches from Lake Constance in the west to Lake Neusiedl in the east. The distance from the easternmost point to the westernmost point is 570 kilometers, and the distance from the northernmost point to the southernmost point is approximately 300 kilometers.
About three-quarters of the country is mountainous, as it is located on the Eastern Alps. The length of the Danube River, which crosses the country from west to east in the north, is 350 kilometers. These parts are the lowest places. The Alps covered the country in Austria in three rows from west to east. The highest mountain in the country is the “Grossglockner” with 3798 m.
Although very rich in lakes, these lakes are very small. Its largest lake is Lake Neusiedl, whose surface area is 320 km². Part of it belongs to Hungary.
Much of Austria is under the influence of the Central-European transitional climate, with continental and oceanic influences. Heavy precipitation and westerly wind are important factors affecting the climate. The Alpine region has its own climatic characteristics. In this region, summers are cool and winters are snowy. Annual precipitation here reaches 3000 mm.
Due to the ocean effect affecting the north and west of the country, precipitation is lower (2000 mm per year) in these regions and temperature variations are more stable throughout the year. Winters are relatively mild in these regions and summers are hot. The average temperature in Salzburg is -2 °C in January and 18 °C in July.
The continental climate is dominant in the east of the country. Winters in this region are very harsh and rainy. Precipitation is generally in the form of snow, but in low places it is in the form of rain. The air temperature is usually below 0 °C in winter. Even at this time, the weather is clear and clear, so it is suitable for winter sports. The average temperature is -4 °C in January and 18 °C in July. The annual precipitation rate in this region is around 600 mm.
Since the Danube River freezes during the winter months, ice breaking works are carried out continuously to prevent disruption of transportation. At high altitudes, storms are sometimes very severe. Due to its continental climate, the summer months are hot. The average temperature is above 20 °C. There is a small amount of precipitation during this season.
Vegetation and Animals
Nearly half of the country’s total area is forested. Forests dominated by oak and beech trees cover the fore region of the Northern Alps. The eastern part of the central Alps with the Waldviertel and Hausruck regions is dominated by beech, oak, maple, spruce.
The most important environmental problem of Austria is the heavy traffic caused by industry, tourism and acid rain, which contributes greatly to the environmental pollution of the surrounding countries. A quarter of the forest area is affected by this problem and a rapid decrease in the number of trees is observed in some regions. Intensive agriculture, dams built to generate electricity, and erosion caused by the reduction of forests are other important environmental problems of the country.
The animal world of Austria shows the diversity of Central Europe. Typical species of mountainous regions are mountain goats and marmots. Roe deer, fallow deer and wild boars also live in the forests. About two dozen free brown bears live in the country, which have been under protection since 1997. Field mouse and field squirrel are found in the east of the country.
24% of the country’s total area is under natural protection. Austria has three natural parks, hundreds of protected areas and natural parks.
Approximately 47% of the country is covered with forests. It is the country with the most forests in Central Europe. Most of the forests available at altitudes of up to 2150 meters in the Alps are privately owned.
Iron, magnesium, graphite and coal are obtained in Austria, which is considered very rich in terms of mines. It is the country that produces the most graphite in the world. It ranks fourth in Europe in oil and natural gas production. Apart from these, copper, zinc, lead, antimony, bauxite and tungsten mines are also produced in sufficient quantities.
Of the 8.60 million (2019) population, approximately 93% are Austrians. Other minority groups in the country are Turks, Germans, Slavs, Croats and Hungarians (especially in Burgenland), Slovenes (especially in Carinthia), Czechs (especially in Vienna), and a smaller number of Italians, Serbs and Romanians. 18.6% of the population is 1-14 age group, 61.6% is 15-59 age group, 19.8% is over 60 years old. 68% of the people live in cities. The population density of the country is 99 people per square kilometer. However, the population is unevenly distributed over the area. Large areas of the Alps are uninhabited. Annual population growth is 0.14 percent compared to 2004. The average life expectancy is 76.4 years for men and 82.1 years for women.
Christianity is the dominant religion in Austria. In the 2001 census, 73.6% of the country’s population was Catholic. According to the Catholic Church itself, as of 2016, the number of Catholics had fallen to 58.8% of the population. In contrast, the number of Muslims in Austria has increased in recent years due to immigration; In 2001, 4.2% of the population self-identified as Muslim; It rose to about 5% to 6.2% in 2010 and to 7.9% in 2016.
States and cities
Being a federal republic, Austria consists of nine states:
(1 Jan 2017)
|Lower Austria||Sankt Pölten||19,178||1,665,753||86.9||49.75 bn||30,800|
|Upper Austria||Linz||11,982||1,465,045||122.3||53.863 bn||38,000|
The largest cities of Austria are Vienna (1.71 million), Graz (261 thousand), Linz (189 thousand), Salzburg (148 thousand) and Innsbruck (120 thousand). Due to natural conditions, it is the center of winter sports. Therefore, tourism and winter sports are very developed.
The literacy rate is quite high [98% (1983)]. Educational institutions in the country are among the oldest educational institutions in Europe. For example, the University of Vienna was founded in 1365. There are four universities in the country and various faculty and university level academies affiliated with it. The church has a great weight in education and training. As it is the crossroads of Europe, transportation and transportation are very developed.
According to the Austrian constitution, the country is a democratic federal republic. Burgenland consists of nine states: Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Vienna.
The Head of State is the Federal President. The constitution stipulated that the head of state be elected by the people for a period of six years. The Federal President represents the state in foreign affairs. It signs treaties and laws, appoints the chancellor, vice-chancellor, minister and other officials. The President can also convene, dissolve and recess the assembly.
Parliament is bicameral: the Bundesrat (States Assembly), of 62 deputies elected by the state parliaments; The Nationalrat (National Assembly) consists of 183 members directly elected by proportional representation. Nationalrat candidates must be at least 19 years old. Which state is represented by how many parliamentarians in the Bundesrat is determined by the population of the state. Although this assembly has only an advisory function, it can delay the enactment of some laws.
The voting age in Austria is 16.
Political parties and their heads
- Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) – Pamela Rendi-Wagner
- Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) – Sebastian Kurz
- Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) – Norbert Hofer
- Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZO) – Johanna Trodt-Limpl
- The Greens (GRÜNE) – Werner Kogler
- New Austrian Party(NEOS) – Beate Meinl-Reisinger
- Austrian Communist Party (KPÖ) – Mirko Messner
The Austrian economy is based on industry, tourism and agriculture. Land suitable for agriculture is scarce. Modern agriculture to get plenty of products II. It developed rapidly after World War II. Animal husbandry is developed in the grasslands located in the lowlands of the country.
In the industry branch, which constitutes the main source of its economy, pig iron and crude steel and aluminum production are at the forefront. Paper, chemicals and plastics are other industrial products.
Austria is the world’s leading natural magnesite producer. The large oil refinery in Schwechat supplies three-quarters of the country’s total consumption of petroleum and petroleum products.
Only part of the timber from its vast forests is processed in the country. Unprocessed timber is among the main export products of the country.
The most important export products; machines, electronic devices, mineral products, paper, electrical energy, foodstuffs.
Austria’s mountains, forests and valleys are ideal holiday destinations in summer and winter. Lakes, mountains and valleys are famous for their various sports. Vienna is the center of music, fine arts and historical monuments. Operas, art galleries and ballet performances are gathered in the capital city. During the winter, thousands of visitors come to Austria to ski.