25 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Austria

Posted by , Updated on November 23, 2022

Whether its high mountain peaks or more modern cities, Austria has a lot to offer. So, before you book your flight to Europe, here are 25 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Austria.


Ever since the end of the world wars, Austria has sworn itself to a position of permanent neutrality

world warSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

So, although it is part of the European Union, it is not a member of NATO

natoSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Beethoven was not Austrian, he was German. But he did live a significant portion of life in Austria

beethovenSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Mozart was Austrian though. So were Haydn, Schubert, and Strauss. Austria is famous for music.

composersSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

You thought Hitler was German? Nope. He was Austrian too.

hitlerSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

And you probably already know the most famous currently living Austrian - Arnold Schwarzenneger

Arnold SchwarzeneggerSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Eisriesenwelt, German for "World of the Ice Giants" is the largest ice cave in the world

EisriesenweltSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Austria's official name is Republik Öesterreich, which means "The Eastern Realm"

AustriaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Its flag is one of the oldest in the world

austria flagSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Legend has it that in 1191 Duke Leopold V got blood splattered on his tunic during battle. When he removed his sash a white band was revealed

Duke Leopold VSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace (beautiful fountain) got its name from the spring that provided the palace with water. Apparently it tasted so fresh that Emperors had it delivered to their table.

schönbrunn palaceSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

In 1552 a Hapsburg prince brought an elephant from Spain back to Vienna but it died in the cold climate shortly thereafter

elephantSource: wikipedia, Image: freestockphotos.biz

When artist Edwin Lipburger got into a dispute with authorities over building permits for his spherical house, he decided to declare independence from Austria

kugelmugelSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

His new country was called the Republic of Kugelmugel (Ball Hill). Authorities, however, moved his house to Prater Park in downtown Vienna and surrounded it with barbed wire

kugelmugelSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

When Edwin refused to pay taxes to Austria, only a presidential pardon saved him from jail. Today, Kugelmugel still stands as a tourist attraction.

kugelmugelSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Most of Austria is mountainous and covered by the Alps and about 1/4 of the population lives in Vienna, the capital

viennaSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Among its mountains is the Großglockner, Europe's second most prominent mountain (3,798m, with a prominence of 2,423m)

GroßglocknerSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The Krimml Falls (Krimmler Wasserfalle) are Europe's tallest waterfall (380 meters)

krimml fallsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

After Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries, Austria has the highest number of Nobel Prize winners per capita (19 total)

nobel peace prizeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

The world's largest emerald is on display in Vienna (2860 carat)

emeraldSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

In spite of the mishap with the elephant, Vienna is home to the world's oldest zoo, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn.

zooSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

St. Peter Stiftskeller is the oldest still-operating inn/restaurant in the world. It opened in 803 AD. That's more than 1200 years ago!

st peter stiftskellerSource: wikipedia, Image: flavouz via flickr

The central cemetery in Vienna has over 2.5 million graves. That is more than the city's living population!

cemeterySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Perhaps not surprisingly, alpine sports like skiing are very popular in Austria

skiSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Austria is constantly ranked as having one of the highest standards of living in the world and Vienna nearly always tops the list of the World's Most Livable Cities.

hallstattSource: wikipedia, Image: unicoletti

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