- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Austria is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.66 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.
The territory of Austria covers 83,879 square kilometres (32,386 sq mi). Austria's terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 metres (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speak local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language,and Austrian German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.
Due to the mountainous terrain, alpine skiing is a prominent sport in Austria. Similar sports such as snowboarding or ski-jumping are also widely popular.
Austria's past as a European power and its cultural environment generated a broad contribution to various forms of art, most notably among them music. Austria was the birthplace of many famous composers such as Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss, Sr. and Johann Strauss, Jr. as well as members of the Second Viennese School such as Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and Alban Berg. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, then an independent Church Principality of the Holy Roman Empire, though one that was culturally closely connected to Austria, and much of Mozart's career was spent in Vienna.
Here is the list of popular sights to visit in Austria:
- Historic Center of Vienna
- State Opera House
- St. Stephen's Cathedral
- Schoenbrunn Palace
- Kunsthistorisches Museum
- Salzburg's Old Town
- Tiergarten Schoenbrunn - Zoo Vienna
- Imperial Palace (Hofburg)
- Grossglockner High Alpine Road