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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Austria

The German name for Austria, Österreich,  means "Eastern borderlands" and was first recorded in 996AD. The word "Austria" is a Latinisation of the German name and was first recorded in the 12th century.

Saint Leopold III (1073 – November 15, 1136), known as Leopold the Good, was the Margrave of Austria from 1095 to his death in 1136. (Margrave was the title given in the Middle Ages to a military commander responsible for the defense of a province of the Holy Roman Empire.) He is mainly remembered for the development of the country and, in particular, the founding of several monasteries. Leopold III was canonized in 1485 and became a patron saint of Austria.

Saint Leopold III with two deceased sons, Klosterneuburg Monastery, 1489–1492

The Austrian flag of three equal horizontal stripes in red, white and red dates back to 1191.

The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the Austrian city.

The Turkish Siege of Vienna. In the Vienna Museum

The Siege of Vienna ended on October 15, 1629 as the Austrians repelled the invading Turks, turning the tide against almost a century of unchecked conquest throughout eastern and central Europe by the Ottoman Empire.

150 years of bitter military tension and reciprocal attacks ensued, culminating in the Battle of Vienna of 1683, which marked the start of the 15-year-long Great Turkish War.

In the winter of 1731-32, 21,000 Protestants were expelled from the ecclesiastical Salzburg province in Austria and many others fled due to the severe persecution they were forced to endure. Some died on the journey during the cold snowy winter trekking northwards over the Alps but others reached as far as East Prussia in their search for a place to settle. Certain areas of the province were left almost deserted and only Catholics were allowed to take over the abandoned farms.

Austria became the first country to abolish capital punishment in 1787.

Austria was the first country to use postcards. The first one was issued in 1869.

German troops marched into Austria on March 12, 1938 to annex the German-speaking nation for the Third Reich.

The Austrian for Austria is Österreich which means “Eastern realm”.

Austria's terrain is highly mountainous due to the presence of the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft).

Source Daily Express

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