It last gained independence on May 15th, 1955, although the name has been in use since 996. Birthplace of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Niki Lauder, a three times Formula One world champion. The most common names are Lukas and Sarah, for men and women respectively. Home of Tiergarten Schönbrunn, the world’s oldest zoo, founded in 1752. Birthplace of inventors Josef Madersperger, one of the inventors of the sewing machine, Paul Eisler, the inventor of the printed circuit board, August Musger, the inventor of slow motion, and Eduard Haas, the inventor of Pez candy. And, this is true, it’s the home of a town named F**king. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Today, we’re visiting the Land of Music, Austria.
The Republic of Austria is a hospitable, nepotistic and traditional landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. It is the 113th largest country on Earth at 32,383 square miles, with the 95th largest population with just over eight and a half million people. The name of the country comes from the Old High German word Österreich, translating into English as ‘Eastern Realm’.
Many believe the motto of the country is, ‘It Is Austria’s Destiny to Rule the Whole World’, but it could be, ‘All the World Is Subject to Austria’. Either way, neither is particularly common these days. But both take top marks for my favourite country motto…
This highly mountainous land is dominated by the magnificent Alpine scenery, a wealthy and prosperous nation, home to many famous architects, composers, filmmakers and scientists. It’s an incredibly diverse and unique land, enriched by a high standard of living and a great love of food and drink. Indeed, Austrians are a highly social and well-educated people. A softly spoken, formal and reserved folk who love to ski, but also enjoy a spot of hockey, football and hiking. They are well-mannered, rooted and family orientated, moderate in outlook and behaviour, living in a place defined not only by its Alpine mountains, but also by its gently rolling farmland, glaciers, meadows, plains, river gorges, vineyards and wooded foothills. This is a safe place, full of helpful people famed for their dry wit and friendly nature.
There are sights to see such as Hohensalzburg Castle, standing mighty and proud high atop its perch, like some gleaming white jewel born from the mind of a man with ethereal talents and empyrean vision. A truly amazing rock from which we look upon.
And then there’s the Vienna State Opera, a building leaving one not just breathless, but stunned into a kind of awe-inspiring silence all too rare to experience these days. Located in Vienna, the capital city of Austria, stands this magnificent and wonderful marvel, which opened in 1869. A piece of art, a slice of the ultimate craftsmanship, a piece of poetry the entire world can rightly praise as a triumph of human endeavour.
But my favourite sight of Austria is Hallstatt, a prelapsarian wonder proudly nestled upon the water’s edge. A small village of supreme outstanding natural beauty, a supratemporal vista with an almost incicurable ameliorating quality. The beautiful and boscaresque traditional architecture coupled with a supernaculum and gorgeous backdrop, combine to create a timeless scene of utmost grandeur and splendour.
Austria. The country of tradition, prosperity and F**king.
Images (Click on Them to Enlarge)
1) The flag of Austria
3) Vienna State Opera
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