Austria Facts
Austria Facts

62 Interesting Facts about Austria

Jill Bartholomew
By Jill Bartholomew, Junior Writer
Published January 15, 2017Updated December 17, 2020
  • Austro-Hungarian Baroness Bertha von Suttner was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905.[12]
  • When the Turks fled the city of Vienna in 1683, they left behind a large quantity of coffee beans, thereby launching the great Viennese tradition of the Kaffeehaus (coffee house). Since the 19th century, the coffee house has been an indispensable social part of Viennese middle class and intellectual life.[11]
  • Founded in 1752 as an animal menagerie by Emperor Franz Stephan, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Tiergarten is the oldest zoo in the world.[18]
  • Death in Austria is big business, and the Austrian funeral industry is said to be largest per capita in Europe. Austrians plan quite openly for their eventual demise, discussing reserving burial plots, designing headstones, and joining Sterbeverein (“Death Association”) that ensures someone eventually shows up and pays the final bill. Coming back from an Austrian funeral, one is sure to hear that there was ein schöne Leiche (“a beautiful corpse”).[10]
  • Austrian film directors Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann played an important role in the creation of Hollywood shortly before and after World War II.[6]
  • Random Austria Facts
    Genetic evidence demonstrates that Adolf Hitler had a chromosome Haplogroup E1B1B1, which is commonly found among Jewish people
  • There is a distinct possibility that Adolf Hitler was related to the Jews he tried to exterminate during the Holocaust. Samples of saliva taken from 39 relatives of Austrian-born Hitler in 2010 showed that he had a chromosome Haplogroup E1B1B1, which is commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia as well as in Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews. It is one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.[4]
  • Vienna’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) is famous for rejecting a young painter by the name of Adolf Hitler. Of the 128 applicants that applied in 1907, Hitler was one of the 100 who failed. His entrance exam themes included “Expulsion from Paradise,” “Building Workers,” and “Death.”r[18]
  • When Emperor Maximilian I founded the Vienna Boys’ Choir in 1498, he replaced castrati with young boys whose voices had not yet broken, creating one of the world’s most celebrated choirs.[18]
  • The magic words for wine drinkers in Vienna are ein Achtel (an eighth of a liter), which is the most common serving size in Vienna.[6]
  • During World War II in Austria, the numbers 0 5, painted on a wall or door, marked the symbol of Austria’s resistance during the Nazi Anschluss.[9]
  • Before starting to eat, Austrians say “Guten Appetit!” and before starting to drink, they toast by clinking glasses while looking the other person in the eye, because to not make eye contact is rude and is said to bring upon oneself seven years of bad sex.[18]
  • The bodies of the Hapsburg Emperors were not buried like other people in one place but at three different burial sites. Since the House of Hapsburg ruled in Austria for so long—1278 to 1918—it became custom to keep only copper urns with their intestines in St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Their actual bodies were buried in the Imperial Vault at the Kapuzinerkirche (Capuchin Church), while their hearts were buried at the Augustinerkirche (Church of the Augustinians). Emperor Rudolph was the first Hapsburg Emperor buried in the vault at St. Stephan’s.[15]
  • Viennese psychiatrist Sigmund Freud is best known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, which has heavily influenced modern psychology as well as other domains of science and culture. He died in exile in London in 1939.[6]
  • Interesting Vienna Fact
    Vienna is also known as "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud

  • The design of the first sewing machine dates back to 18th-century English tailor Thomas Saint. However, in 1814, Austrian tailor Josef Madersperger of Vienna was granted the first patent on a design for a sewing machine he had been working on for nearly a decade.[14]
  • Beloved Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria suffered potentially from anorexia. Even after becoming a great-grandmother at the age of 57, Sisi became more than ever preoccupied with her slenderness and put herself on a milk diet and exercised daily to keep her weight under 110 lbs. (50 kilos).[17]
  • Born in Salzburg, physicist Christian Doppler is most famous for his discovery of the “Doppler effect,” how the observed frequency of sound and light waves is affected by the relative motion of the source and detector. The Doppler radar that most meteorologists use today worldwide relies on the Doppler Effect.[7]
  • In 1929, the system of Mach numbers for speed was introduced, named after Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, commemorating Mach’s 1887 discovery that air flow changes dramatically above the speed of sound.[3]
  • Interesting Austria Clothes Fact
    The word "tracht" is related to the German word tragen, meaning "to carry/wear/bear"
  • In Austria, the Tracht, or traditional folk costume, is accepted as formal wear and can be worn even to an elegant ball at the Viennese Opera. Men wear green Loden jackets and Lederhosen (leather breeches), and women wear Dirndl dresses.[6]
  • One of the world’s best-known Austrians is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in the Terminator and Predator action film series, among others; was governor of California from 2003-2010; and is a member of the Kennedy clan by marriage.[6]
  • Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk who became famous for his garden experiments with pea plants. His experiments became the basis for the science of modern genetics, and he is known as the “father of modern genetics.”[8]
  • Born in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy and supposedly had the gift of a perfect memory. At age 6, he performed for the Empress Maria Theresa at Schönbrunn Palace and composed some of the most enduring classical compositions in musical history including: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, and many symphonies and masses—including the unfinished masterwork Requiem, which is still shrouded in mystery. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in St. Mark’s Cemetery in Vienna, and his remains were never identified.[2][11]
  • Austrian artist Egon Schiele was controversial in his own time. In 1912, he was held in custody for three weeks and later found guilty of corrupting minors with his erotic paintings and drawings. At one stage, he fled Austria for Bohemia with his 17-year-old model and lover Walburga “Wally” Neuzil to escape a furor.[18]
  • Katharina Schratt (1855–1940) was a noted actress who became the most famous courtesan of the 19th-century German-speaking world, when she became the mistress of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1885.[10]
  • In 1784, Emperor Joseph II decreed that each Austrian vintner in the suburbs of Vienna could sell his own wine with a cold menu right on his own premises without a restaurant license, launching a tradition that continues today. Der heurige Wein refers to the “new wine” or, more literally, “this year’s wine.”[10]
  • Alpine, or downhill, skiing has been the most popular sport in Austria for over 100 years. Mathias Zdarsky wrote the first handbook of skiing in 1897, invented the first ski bindings worthy of mention, and organized the first slalom race in 1905.[6]
  • Interesting Austrian Skiing Fact
    Alpine, or downhill, skiing has been the most popular sport in Austria for over 100 years

  • The first Austrian horse sports riding club, the Österreichische Campagnereiter-Gesellschaft, was founded in 1872 and had the Emperor Franz Joseph I as a patron.[6]
  • Due to the fact that the waters at the Austrian spa Bad Gastein contain radon, a powerful gas, patients must produce a doctor’s order before enjoying the spa’s healing waters.[6]
  • The Salzburger Festspiele, the largest and most important opera and theater festival in Europe, was initiated by three people: Hugo von Hofmannsthal, an eminent writer; the composer and conductor Richard Strauss; and Max Reinhardt, the greatest theatrical innovator of the 20th century. This Austrian festival, created to honor the memory of Mozart, is devoted solely to performing his works.[6]
  • Austrian composer Franz Schubert, one of the music’s greatest lyricists, was nicknamed Schwammerl (Little Mushroom) by his friends because he was just five feet tall, and contemporary pictures show him as being dimpled and pudgy with a snub nose and sensitive eyes, peering from behind thick glasses.[2]
  • Andreas Hofer is considered Austria’s national hero. In 1809, he led the Tyrolean uprising against the Bavarian rulers, who were allied with Napoleon. He succeeded in defeating the Bavarians and forced the French army, led by Marshal Lefebvre, to retreat. Hofer assumed civilian control in Tyrol but was soon betrayed, captured, and subsequently executed by the French in the town square of Mantua.[6]
  • Interesting Beethoven Fact
    Though born in Germany, Beethoven lived most of his adult life in Austria
  • Born in Germany in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven lived most of his adult life in Vienna, Austria. He battled deafness starting at the age of 26 and he composed some of his best-known works while profoundly deaf—including his Symphony No. 9 in D minor, with “Ode to Joy” as its final movement.[6]
  • Tafelspitz is often called the Austrian national dish, but the most famous of Austrian dishes is Weiner Schnitzel, which are cutlets of veal, pounded thin, dusted with egg and breadcrumbs, and then fried. In Austria, Weiner Schnitzel is never served with sauce. Schnitzel may have come to Austria by way of Milan, Italy, where it is called Milanese.[6]
  • When a Wiener (Viennese person) says “Er hat den 71er genommen” (“He’s taken the 71”), they are metaphorically referring to “the end of the line” or the Zentralfriedhof Cemetery, which has made the tram line 71 a euphemism for death. The Zentralfriedhof is one of Europe’s largest cemeteries. Beethoven, Brahms, Johann Strauss Sr. and Jr., Schubert, and 1980s pop icon Falco are all buried there. Mozart also has a monument in the cemetery, but he is buried in an unmarked grave in St. Marxer Friedhof (St. Mark’s Cemetery).[18]
  • Austrian actor Christoph Waltz has won two Academy Awards for Best-Supporting Actor Award for his roles as the sadistic SS Standartenfürher Hans Landa, in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds in 2010, and as German dentist and bounty hunter King Schultz in Tarantino’s Django Unchained in 2013.[5]
  • The Austrian Kipferl is a light, crescent-shaped pastry, and it is the ancestor of the famous French croissant. The Kipferl dates back to at least the 13th century; however, it is a Vienna legend that the Kipferl was actually baked for the first time in a crescent shape in 1683 to reflect what was seen on the battle standards of the Ottomans, to celebrate the victory by the Holy League over the Turks.[6]
  • Mozartkugel are a fine brand of Austrian chocolates which originated in Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace. In 1890, master confectioner Paul Furst made the first Mozart chocolates by forming small balls of marzipan which he coated in a praline cream and then dipped in warm chocolate. Other Viennese confectioners soon adopted the technique, and even today producers vie with each other to see whose Mozartkugel are the most authentic.[6]
  • Vienna, Austria, is home to the world-famous Spanish Riding School and its prized white Lipizzaner stallions.[11]
  • The film Amadeus, which is the story of the life of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1984.[11]
  • Interesting Austria History Fact
    One of the greatest Austrian mysteries surrounds the double suicides of Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress, Mary von Vetsera, on January 30, 1889
  • One of the greatest mysteries in Austrian history surrounds the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf, the only son of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth “Sisi,” and his mistress, Mary von Vetsera. On January 30, 1889, the two lovers’ bodies were found in the royal hunting lodge at Mayerling. They had seemingly committed suicide. Mary had drunk poison, and then Rudolf shot himself, but their deaths still remain a mystery.[6]
  • French Queen Marie Antoinette was one of the 16 children of Empress Maria Theresa. She married the French prince who would become King Louis XVI, and both were later executed by guillotine during the French Revolution.[11]
  • In 1820, the Austrian Imperial Court welcomed the waltz. The dance, which had its origins in the popular triple-time dance, appeared first in the inns and then in the theaters on the outskirts of Vienna before it appeared at the Imperial Court.[11]
  • The Austrian Eisriesenwelt Caves, called “the world of the ice giants,” is the largest accessible ice cave system in the world.[11]
  • The assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the son of Archduke Karl Ludwig and nephew of Emperor Franz Josef I, and his wife on Sunday, June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, were the direct cause of the outbreak of World War I, in which Austria was to suffer 1,567,000 dead.[11]
  • In 1985, 200 years after Mozart’s death, Viennese musician Hans Hölzel, better known as Falco, scored a worldwide megahit with the song “Rock Me Amadeus.” Falco is the only Austrian pop star to make it big on the world stage. He was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in 1998 and was awarded an “honorary grave” by the City of Vienna in the Zentralfriedhof Cemetery.[11]
  • The Ringstraße in Vienna is one of Europe’s most unusual streets. This circular boulevard of magnificent state buildings, palaces, and hotels was carved out of the fortifications once protecting Vienna from the invading Turks in the 16th century.[18]
  • Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki, a military officer under the command of Jan Sobieski during the 1683 invasion of the Turks, opened Vienna’s first coffee house around 1683. Having been a prisoner in a Turkish prison, he recognized the coffee beans that had been left behind when the Polish-Hapsburg allies kicked out the Ottoman Empire.[18]
  • Interesting Austrian Food Fact
    The most famous Austrian cake is the Viennese Sachertorte
  • The Austrian tradition of cake baking goes back centuries, with competition fierce between towns and cities to produce the finest tortes. Even in small villages, bakeries would try to outdo each other. Almost every Austrian city has its trademark cake. The most famous Austrian cake is the Viennese Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake invented by Chef Franz Sacher for Chancellor Metternich in 1832.[6]
  • Takako Ishimitsu is the proprietor of Café Neko, which is Vienna’s only cat café. Inside, customers can stroke and play with feline friends or watch them walk or repose on a high walkway. Dogs are not allowed in Café Neko.[18]
  • Once the center of power of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I.[1]
  • Austrian author Elfriede Jelinek won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004. Her best-known work is the novel The Piano Teacher, a novel about a repressed piano teacher in a sadomasochistic relationship.[18]
  • English King Richard the Lionheart was captured and held for ransom in Vienna in 1192 while passing through Austria on his return from one of the Crusades. Part of the ransom paid by the English for his release was used to build a new city wall on today’s Ringstraße.[18]
  • The great Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius died at Vindobona, present-day Vienna, on March 17 in A.D. 180.[13]
  • Austria’s formal name is Republik Öesterreich (Republic of Austria), which literally means “Eastern Realm.”[1]
  • Austria has 32,383 square miles (83,871 square km) of area. It is slightly smaller than Maine and completely landlocked.[1]
  • Austria’s highest point is the Großglockner at 12,461 feet (3,798 m).[1]
  • Austria’s flag is one of, if not the, oldest national banners in the world. In 1191, Duke Leopold V of Austria’s tunic became blood spattered and, upon removal of his wide sash, a white band was revealed. The red-white-red color combination was then adopted as his banner.[1]
  • While the rulers of the Austrian Empire held the title of Holy Roman Emperor for centuries, the title actually dates from Charlemagne’s coronation in Rome on Christmas Day A.D. 800 as Roman Emperor of the West. The title Holy Roman Emperor was, therefore, in fact neither holy nor Roman.[13]
  • Probably the best known of all Austrian artists is Gustav Klimt, the founding member and main representative of the Viennese Secession movement. He often used gold in his paintings and embellished them with striking “mosaics.” His subject matter was often infused with a subtle eroticism, and his best known work is The Kiss (1907–1908), which hangs in Vienna’s Belvedere Palace.[6]
  • The name for Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace (Beautiful Fountain) comes from the spring that provided the palace with wonderful fresh water from its very early days as a small hunting lodge. The water tasted so clear that the Austrian Emperors had it delivered to their table at the palace, and Empress Maria-Theresa had a grotto-like building built over the spring to protect it, which still stands to this day.[15]
  • Random Austria Fact
    The 1959 Broadway Musical The Sound of Music is based on the true story of the Austrian von Trapp family
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music was based on the true story of the von Trapp family. The young novice nun, Maria Kutschera became governess to the widower Baron Georg von Trapp’s seven children and finally married the baron himself. Together, they formed a family choir in the mid-1930s but then fled Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and continued their career in the United States, settling in Stowe, Vermont. Many of the locations used in the 1965 film version of The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews, were in Salzburg, Austria.[11]
  • In April 1552, a Hapsburg prince brought from Spain the first elephant to live in Austria. It was the first of many foreign animals for the king’s menagerie. Unfortunately, it did not survive long in Austria’s cold climate and died in December 1553. The only reminder of its existence is a chair made out of its bones which is kept at Kremsmünster Monastery.[15]
  • Vienna’s Prater Park gained its name in 1194 when Babenburg Duke Friedrich I gave the section of Vienna woodlands along the Danube River as a gift to an Italian royal family called de Prato, who changed their name to Prater. In 1766, Emperor Joseph II donated the royal hunting grounds to the people of Vienna for their amusement. The park’s most iconic amusement is the Riesenrad (Giant Wheel), built by English engineer Walter Basset for the World Exhibition of 1896-97.[15]
  • Important Dates[6][13][16]
    750–400 B.C.The Hallstatt Civilization is the first civilization known in Austria.
    279Celts invade Austria.
    150Celts establish Kingdom of Noricum with its center in present-day Carinthia in modern-day Austria.
    101The invading Cimbri and Teutoni routed by the Roman General Caius Marius.
    A.D. 25Under Emperor Tiberius, a Roman frontier (the “Limes”) is established along the Danube from Castra Boiorum (Passau) to Carnuntum.
    100Rome establishes the camp of Vindobona, which becomes the city of Vienna.
    180Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius dies at Vindobona.
    313Christianity is declared by the Roman Emperor Constantine to be the state religion.
    375The Great Migrations begin. Carnuntum is obliterated.
    434–453The Huns under Attila overrun Pannonia but withdraw after his death.
    488Completion of Roman withdrawal from the entire Danube area. Slavs and Avars from the East infiltrate the area.
    700St. Rupert founds the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter on the ruins of Juvavum (Salzburg).
    739The Bishopric of Salzburg is founded.
    ca. 740St. Rupert’s Church is founded in Vienna.
    787Charlemagne deposes the last independent Bavarian prince Tassilo III, for whom the Talisso Chalice of 777 is named.
    791–799Charlemagne wipes out the Avars and forms “Ostmark.” Vienna becomes a border fortress.
    800Charlemagne is crowned in Rome as “Roman Emperor of the West.”.
    803Charlemagne founds the eastern Margravate.
    881Battle between the Franks and Magyars at Wenia, which is the first mention of the original version of Wien (Vienna).
    907Battle of Pressburg (Bratislava) leads to the disintegration of Charlemagne’s Ostmark.
    955The Magyars are defeated by Otto the Great at the Battle of Lechfield. Ostmark is reconstituted.
    962Otto is crowned by the Pope in Rome as the first Holy Roman Emperor.
    976Leopold I Babenburg becomes the first Margrave and founds of the Babenburg Dynasty.
    996First appearance of the world Ostarrichi in a document drawn up by Emperor Otto III called the Ostarrichi Urkunde document.
    1070–1180Building of Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg.
    1095–1136Babenburg ruler Leopold III, “the Holy,” establishes his residence on what is now the Leopoldsberg.
    ca. 1136Vienna is now a fortified city.
    1156Under Babenburg ruler Heinrich II, called “Jasomirgott,” Austria is elevated by the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa to the status of a hereditary Duchy.
    1191Babenburg ruler Leopold V participates in the Third Crusade. King Richard I, “the Lionheart,” is imprisoned at Dürnstein on the Danube.
    1225Franciscans and Dominicans settle in Vienna.
    1246Death of the last Babenburg Friedrich II, “the Quarrelsome,” at the Battle of Leitha against the Magyars.
    1246–1273The period of the Terrible Interregnum brings with it anarchy and confusion.
    1251Vienna is seized by King Ottokar II of Bohemia.
    1273Count Rudolf of Hapsburg is crowned “German King” at Aachen.
    1278Rudolf defeats Ottokar at the Battle of Marchfield, in which Ottokar is killed. This marks the beginning of the 640 years of Hapsburg rule in Austria.
    1282Rudolf and Albrecht Hapsburg are awarded the Duchy of Austria (Upper and Lower Austria), Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, and they reallocate them the following year.
    1365Vienna University is founded.
    1438Albrecht III becomes the first Hapsburg Emperor.
    1452Friedrich III is the first Hapsburg to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Rome.
    1477Hapsburgs acquire the Netherlands and Franche-Comté of Burgundy by marriage.
    1485Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, occupies Vienna until his death in 1490. Emperor Friedrich III makes his capital at Wiener Neustadt.
    1493–1519Maximilian I makes his official residence at Innsbruck.
    1496Maximilian I marries his daughter to the son of Spanish rulers King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
    1499Switzerland claims independence from the Hapsburgs.
    1521–1564Ferdinand I is the first Hapsburg ruler to reside in the Hofburg Palace.
    1521The House of Hapsburg separates into two lines, an Austrian and a Spanish.
    1529Turks lay siege to Vienna for the first time.
    1541Death of Paracelsus in Salzburg.
    1580Spanish riding school and state Lipizzan stud farm are created.
    1607Fraternal schism in House of Hapsburg happens. Rudolf II withdraws to Prague.
    1618The Defenestration of Prague begins the Thirty-Year War.
    1648Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty-Year War.
    1658–1705Leopold I rules and unites the Hapsburg empire.
    1679The Plague hits Vienna, and 100,000 people die.
    1683Turks siege Vienna for the second time and are defeated once and for all; first Kaffeehaus in Vienna is opened. The Graben Column in Vienna commemorates the delivery from the plague and the Turks.
    1701The “Grand Alliance” between Austria, England, and Holland takes place.
    1721Prince Eugene of Savoy completes the Belvedere, his summer palace.
    1726Austrian National Library is created.
    1732Composer Joseph Haydn is born.
    1733–1738War of Polish Succession takes place.
    1736Prince Eugene of Savoy dies. Archduchess Maria Theresa marries Franz Stephan of Lorraine in the Augustinerkirche in Vienna.
    1740–1780Maria-Theresa accedes to the throne and is crowned as Holy Roman Empress.
    1744–1750The royal Schönbrunn Palace is built.
    1753–1792Prince Kaunitz serves as Imperial Chancellor.
    1756France and Austria form a defensive alliance. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born.
    1762Mozart plays for Maria Theresa at Schönbrunn.
    1765Death of Franz Stephan of Lorraine. Maria Theresa sets her son Joseph as co-regent.
    1766The Vienna Prater opens to the public.
    1770Marie Antoinette, daughter of Maria Theresa, marries the future King Louis XVI in Paris.
    1772First Partition of Poland takes place; Austria acquires Galicia.
    1776The Burgtheater is founded in Vienna.
    1778–1779War of the Bavarian Succession takes place.
    1780–1790Joseph II, son of Maria Theresa, rules by himself.
    1782Pope Pius VI visits Vienna.
    1784The first general hospital in Vienna opens.
    1790–1792Leopold II rules.
    1791Mozart dies and is buried in a pauper’s grave in St. Mark’s Cemetery in Vienna.
    1792-1835Emperor Franz rules.
    1794Ludwig van Beethoven settles in Vienna.
    1795The Albertina museum is founded.
    1797Composer Franz Schubert is born in Vienna.
    1799Joseph Haydn composes his oratorio “The Creation.”
    1805Battle of Austerlitz and Treaty of Pressburg take place; Napoleon and his French troops occupy Vienna for the first time.
    1806Emperor Franz renounces the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which comes to an end.
    1809Andreas Hofer leads the Tyrolean fight for freedom against the French.
    1810Napoleon marries Marie Louise, the daughter of Emperor Franz.
    1810–1849Count Metternich is Chancellor of Austria.
    1813Battle of Leipzig takes place.
    1815Austria, Russia, and Prussia agree to a “Holy Alliance.” Vienna Polytechnic University is founded.
    1815–1848Austria enjoys Biedermeier furniture.
    1825Johann Strauss Jr., the King of the Waltz, is born.
    1827Ludwig van Beethoven dies.
    1828Franz Schubert dies.
    1829First trials of a screw-driven vessel take place in Trieste harbor.
    1830Future emperor Franz Joseph I is born at Schönbrunn, the first Hapsburg Emperor to be born and to die there.
    1835–1848Ferdinand I, “the Amiable,” rules.
    1839Austria’s first railway is dedicated. Josef Madersperger receives the first patent for the sewing machine.
    1842The first philharmonic concert takes place in Vienna.
    1848In October, after two uprisings in Vienna, Ferdinand I abdicates and is succeeded by Franz Joseph I.
    1854Franz Joseph I marries Elisabeth “Sisi” of Bavaria in Vienna.
    1856“Father of psychoanalysis” Sigmund Freud is born in Vienna.
    1856–1890Vienna is modernized. The Ringstraße and buildings around it are constructed.
    1858Crown Prince Rudolf is born. Legendary Austrian Field Marshal Radetzky dies.
    1862Composer Johannes Brahms settles in Vienna.
    1864Austrian Siegfried Marcus invents the internal combustion engine.
    1866Battles of Custozza and Lissa. Battle of Konig-gratz take place, and the Hapsburg Empire loses Venice. Peter Mitterhofer invents the typewriter.
    1867Austria agrees to “The Arrangement” with Hungary.
    1869The Vienna Opera House officially opens.
    1875Ferdinand I dies in Prague.
    1882Austria, Germany, and Hungary agree to a Triple Alliance.
    1888The new Vienna Burgtheater opens.
    1889Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress are found dead at Mayerling of apparent suicides. Franz Ferdinand becomes heir to the throne.
    1889Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” is assassinated in Geneva.
    1899Johann Strauss Jr. dies.
    1907Last meeting takes place between Franz Joseph and Edward VII of Great Britain at Bad Ischl.
    1908Austria annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    1914–1918Franz Ferdinand is murdered in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, directly leading to World War I.
    1915Italy changes sides and declares war on Austria.
    1916Franz Joseph I dies on November 21.
    1916–1918Karl I rules Austria.
    1917Battle of Caporetto takes place. On December 7, the U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary, formally entering World War I.
    1918In November, World War I ends. Emperor Karl renounces his participation in government. The First Republic of Austria is proclaimed on November 12 and on November 16, the Republic of Hungary is proclaimed. On December 1, Kingdom of Yugoslavia is proclaimed.
    1918–1920Karl Renner is declared first Chancellor of the Republic of Austria.
    1919The ex-Imperial family is escorted into exile in Switzerland. On April 2, the Hapsburgs are banished from Austria and their property is confiscated. On September 16, the Treaty of St. Germain is signed, which determines Austria’s borders.
    1920Austria becomes a member of the League of Nations.
    1925The Schilling is introduced as Austrian state currency.
    1927Riots take place in Vienna; the Palace of Justice is burned.
    1932Engelbert Dollfuß becomes Chancellor.
    1934Austrian Civil War occurs; Dollfuß abolishes the Republic and declares a Christian Federal State. Dollfuß is murdered by Nazi terrorists. Kurt Schuschnigg becomes Chancellor.
    1936Austria signs a political agreement with Germany. Austria acknowledges itself as a “German” state.
    1938Austria is invaded by Nazi forces. Hitler takes Vienna. Schuschnigg resigns. The Anschluß, or Austrian incorporation in to the Third Reich, begins. Hitler renames Austria “Ostmark,” or East Mark.
    1945On April 13, the Russians capture Vienna. On April 27, Austria declares its independence and puts into place a provisional government under Kurt Renner. On April 27, the first post-war philharmonic concert happens in Vienna and Austrian radio comes back on air. In May, World War II ends in Europe.
    1947Austria passes denazification laws. Reconstruction begins.
    1949Austria joins UNESCO. Former Nazi party members are allowed to vote in Austria again.
    1955The last of the Allied troops leave Austria on September 19. On October 26, Austria signs the Neutrality Act (which requires the country to be neutral for all time) and is admitted to the United Nations.
    1957Adolf Scharf is elected president.
    1961Kennedy and Khrushchev meet at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.
    1972President Carter and Premier Brezhnev ratify to the Salt II Treaty in Vienna.
    1973Konrad Lorenz wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
    1972–1981Austrian diplomat Kurt Waldheim is elected as Secretary General.
    1982Ex-Empress Zita, wife of ex-Emperor Charles I, visits Austria for the first time.
    1986Kurt Waldheim is elected president, despite controversy over his role in the Nazi Army during World War II.
    1995Austria joins the European Union.
    2000Austrian state-owned companies agree to pay $65 million USD in compensation funds to survivors of the Holocaust.
    2004Elfriede Jelinek wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
    2006Austria heads the European Union Presidency. A Vienna court finds British historian David Fisher guilty of denying the Holocaust; it sentences him to three years in prison and he is released in December 2006; the case sets off a national debate about Holocaust denial legislation.
    2007Pope Benedict XVI makes a pilgrimage to Austria, where he had spent time as a youth.
    2010Heinz Fischer of the Social Democratic Party wins the presidential election with just under 80% of the vote.
    2011Otto von Hapsburg, eldest son of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor, Charles I, dies and his heart was buried in the Imperial Crypt in a funeral reminiscent of the days of the empire.

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