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Sunday, 18 December 2011


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.

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.

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.

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).

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