Austria's History

Before the Romans arrived in 16BC Austria was settled by Celts whose 12 tribes formed Noricum. Rome’s collapse brought a variety of invaders and ‘order’ was not restored until Charlemagne conquered in 788BC. Various sovereigns had sway over Austria until the Hapsburg dynasty established control in 1278 lasting until 1918. In 1529 and again in 1683 Ottoman Turks were repulsed at the gates of Vienna, then capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Austria consistently opposed revolutionary France and eventually found itself on the winning side against Napoleon. The Treaty of Vienna in 1815 carved up the cake of victory. Prussia defeated Austria in 1866 causing unrest which resulted in Austria sharing power with Hungary as the Austro-Hungarian Empire until defeat at the end of WWI. Austrian born Hitler merged Austria with Germany in 1938 and independence was restored in 1945. Following WWII Austria declared ‘Permanent Neutrality’ but joined the European Union in 1995.

Our Pick

Austria travel attraction

While visiting sophisticated Vienna, you’ll enjoy your stay at one of the city’s finest hotels, Le Méridien Vienna, situated on the Ringstrasse, a skilful blend of the modern and traditional. book-now

Right Now

During the Cold War neutral Austria was the stepping stone between West and East and its economy prospered under enlightened policy. Austria is an enthusiastic member of the EU, adopting the Euro in 2002. Austria’s economy is strong with an extensive social welfare safety net shielding victims of the current economic downturn. With beautiful alpine scenery, castles and palaces, fine music and cultural events with scrumptious cuisine accompanied by fine wines, Austria is a popular tourist destination for visitors who want a sophisticated experience. The meandering Danube River weaves its way through the country and is hugely popular for cruises, while winter witnesses an influx of skiers.

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