Portal:Austria

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The Austria Portal

Topographical map of Austria

Austria (German: Österreich [ˈøːstɐraɪç] (About this sound listen)), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich, About this sound listen ), is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.8 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 km2 (32,386 sq mi). The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.8 million, is Vienna. Other major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms. The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2014 was ranked 21st in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, and is a founder of the OECD. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999.

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Sunset at Neusiedler See

Lake Neusiedl (German: Neusiedler See; Hungarian: Fertő tó; Croatian: Nežidersko jezero, Niuzaljsko jezero; Slovene: Nežidersko jezero) is the second largest steppe lake in Central Europe, straddling the AustrianHungarian border. The lake covers 315 km², of which 240 km² is on the Austrian side and 75 km² on the Hungarian side. The lake's drainage basin has an area of about 1,120 km². From north to south, the lake is about 36 km long, and it is between 6 km and 12 km wide from east to west. On average, the lake is no more than 1.8 m deep.

Most of the lake is surrounded by reeds which serve as a habitat for wildlife (making the lake an important resting place for migratory birds) and are harvested in winter as soon as the ice is solid enough.

In 1993 the National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel gained international acceptance as an IUCN Category II preserve. In 2001 the national parks in Austria and Fertő-Hanság in Hungary were together accepted as a World Heritage Site. The Neusiedler See and its surrounding areas in Austria also enjoy protection through the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

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Selected biography

Konrad Lorenz (November 7, 1903 in Vienna – February 27, 1989 in Altenberg) was a zoologist, animal psychologist, and ornithologist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch. He is often regarded as one of the founders of modern ethology, developing an approach that began with an earlier generation, including his teacher Oskar Heinroth. Lorenz studied instinctive behavior in animals, especially in greylag geese and jackdaws. Working with geese, he rediscovered the principle of imprinting (originally described by Douglas Spalding in the 19th century) in the behavior of nidifugous birds.

He wrote numerous books, some of which, such as King Solomon's Ring and On Aggression became popular reading. In later life his interest shifted to the study of man in society.

Quotes

Austria news

Wikinews Austria portal
  • June 13: Tennis: Nadal beats Thiem to win eleventh French Open title
  • October 16: Austrian People's Party wins majority national election, Sebastian Kurz to become world's youngest national leader at 31
  • December 24: Austrian cellist, conductor Heinrich Schiff dies
  • December 7: PIA flight crashes near Havelian, Pakistan
  • June 25: UEFA Euro 2016, day 13: Iceland-Austria, Hungary-Poland, Italy-Republic of Ireland and Sweden-Belgium
  • June 19: UEFA Euro 2016, day 9: Belgium-Republic of Ireland, Iceland-Hungary, Portugal-Austria
  • June 16: UEFA Euro 2016, days 4 and 5: three wins, two draws
  • December 14: UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris
  • October 22: Former Miss Austria Ena Kadic dies after mountain fall
  • August 29: Four men go before Hungarian court after 71 found dead in lorry
More Austria news...

Did you know...

  • ... that the first record showing the name "Austria" is from 996 where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March?
  • ... that Austria currently produces more than half of its electricity by hydropower?

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