Portal:Austria

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Topographical map of Austria
Austria ( /ˈɒstriə/ ( About this sound listen), /ˈɔːs-/; German: Österreich [ˈøːstɐʁaɪ̯ç] ( About this sound listen)), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich, listen), is a landlocked East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine federated states (Bundesländer), one of which is Vienna, Austria's capital and largest city. It is bordered by Germany to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Austria occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of nearly 9 million people. While German is the country's official language, many Austrians communicate informally in a variety of Bavarian dialects.

Austria initially emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal dynasties in history. As an archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Early in the 19th century, Austria established its own empire, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation, but pursued its own course independently of the other German states following its defeat in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. In 1867, in compromise with Hungary, the Austria-Hungary Dual Monarchy was established.

Austria was involved in World War I under Emperor Franz Joseph following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the presumptive successor to the Austro-Hungarian throne. After the defeat and the dissolution of the Monarchy, the Republic of German-Austria was proclaimed with the intent of union with Germany, but the Allied Powers did not support the new state and it remained unrecognized. In 1919 the First Austrian Republic became the legal successor of Austria. In 1938, the Austrian-born Adolf Hitler, who became the Chancellor of the German Reich, achieved the annexation of Austria by the Anschluss. Following the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 and an extended period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as a sovereign and self-governing democratic nation known as the Second Republic.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a directly elected Federal President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of the federal government. Major urban areas of Austria include Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently ranked in the top 20 richest countries in the world by GDP per capita terms. The country has achieved a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. Vienna consistently ranks in the top internationally on quality-of-life indicators.

The Second Republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995. It plays host to the OSCE and OPEC and is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999. ( Full article...)

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Sachertorte

Sachertorte (German pronunciation: [ˈzɑxərˌtɔrtə]) is a chocolate cake, invented by the hotelier Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. The Original Sachertorte is only made in Vienna and Salzburg, and is shipped from both locations.

The cake consists of two layers of dense, not overly sweet chocolate cake (traditionally a sponge cake) with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and dark chocolate icing on the top and sides. It is traditionally served with whipped cream (Schlagobers) without any sugar in it, as most Viennese consider the Sachertorte too "dry" to be eaten on its own.

The recipe of the Hotel Sacher's version of the cake is a closely-guarded secret.

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Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1873)

Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (September 13, 1830 - March 12, 1916) was a writer. Noted for her excellent psychological novels, she is regarded—together with Ferdinand von Saar—as one of the most important German-language writers of the latter portion of the 19th century.

After 1880 she had her story Lotti die Uhrmacherin (Lotte the Watchmaker) published. In 1887 her novel Das Gemeindekind, became one of great importance in literature.

All her life she fought against the "normal" thoughts of their time. She did not write to make a living, but out of conviction and inspiration. Her intention was to convey moral behaviour and humanism.

Starting in 1890 did she find her own dramatic style of writing. Her 1888 work Ohne Liebe (Without Love) and 1895 Am Ende (In the end) achieved great success. In 1898 she was awarded the highest Austrian civilian medal, the Honorary Cross for Art and Literature. In 1900 she became the first female honorary doctor of the University of Vienna.

After 1899 she made several trips to Italy and in 1906 published her memoir. She is credited with the famous aphorism "even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

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