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Interesting facts about Austria

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Interesting facts about Austria

History & Heritage

  • Modern Austria is the German-speaking part of the Austrian (later Austro-Hungarian) Empire ruled by the Habsburg family from 1526 to 1918.
  • The Austrian flag is one of the oldest national flag in the world. It dates from 1191, when Duke Leopold V fought in the Battle of Acre during the Third Crusade.
  • The world's largest emerald (2860 carat) is displayed in the Imperial Treasury of the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Vienna.
  • Sch÷nbrunn Palace, the summer palace of the Habsburgs, has no less than 1,440 rooms.
  • The sewing machine was invented in 1818 by Josef Madersperger, an Austrian.
  • The oldest zoological garden in the world is the Tiergarten Sch÷nbrunn in Vienna, founded in 1752.

  • Founded in 803 as Stiftskeller St. Peter, Haslauer is the world's oldest inn/restaurant still in operation, and the oldest company in Europe.
  • Vienna's Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof) has over 2.5 million tombs (more than the city's live population), including those of Beethoven, Brahms, Gluck, Schubert, Schoenberg and Strauss.

Culture & People

  • About half of Austrian men are overweight (50.8%, the highest rate in the EU), but only 8.6% of them are obese (4th lowest in the EU-27). In contrast only 20.3% of Austrian women are overweight (lowest rate in the 27 member states), including 8.6% who are obese (also the lowest rate EU wide).
  • Austria is the only continental EU country that is not a member of NATO.
  • Austria has given the world many famous classical music composers, including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, J. Strauss, Mahler, and Bruckner.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Hollywood actor and current governor of California, grew up as an Austrian citizen.
  • The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was Austrian.
  • Many prominent members of the Rothschild family of bankers and investors were Austrian citizens.
  • The founder of the German sports car company 'Porsche' was the Austrian Ferdinand Porsche. He also designed the Volkswagen (the "people's car").
  • As of late 2012, 19 Austrians had been awarded a Nobel Prize, including seven in Physiology or Medicine, four in Chemistry and three in Physics. This is one of the highest number of Nobel laureates per capita, just after Luxembourg, Scandinavian countries and Switzerland. The Austrian novelist and radical pacifist Bertha von Suttner was the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, in 1905.

    The Austrian celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who owns over 70 restaurants in the USA, is the second top-earning chef in the world, with revenues of $16 million a year according to Forbes magazine. Another Austrian, Eckart Witzigmann is one of only four chefs to be named chef of the century by the Gault Millau guide.

  • The national definition of a standard alcoholic drink in Austria is 20 g of pure ethanol, about twice higher than in other European countries.

Land & Nature

  • 62% of Austria's total land area is covered by the Austrian Alps.
  • About one fourth of the population of Austria lives in the capital, Vienna.
  • Europe's second highest peak in order of prominence, Gro▀glockner (3,798m, with a prominence of 2,423m) is located in Austria.
  • Austria has 13 peaks above 3,000 metres, and 34 above 2,000 metres.
  • The Krimml Falls (Krimmler Wasserfalle), in the state of Salzburg, are Europe's tallest waterfalls, reaching a height of 380 meters.
  • According to a 2010 report of the European Environment Agency on recycling of municipal waste, Austrians are the top recyclers in Europe (almost tied with Germany), with 63% of waste being recycled.

Business & Economy

  • Austria's average unemployment rate from 1960 to 2013 is 4.59%, the second lowest in the European Union after Luxembourg.
  • Among Europeans, Austrian people work the longest, with an average of 45 hours per week.
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