How much do you know about Austria? Whether you love football, music, sight-seeing, or any other form of entertainment, Austria has got it all in store for you. But that is not all, Austria has shown time and time again that it can compete with the world’s best economic hubs. The incredible thing is that it shows all this determination despite being a landlocked country – well, we all know the disadvantages of being landlocked.
Like any other country, Austria has had its ups and downs over the years. Such challenges and successes are what make the history of this fantastic country. In the article, we will focus on some of the most interesting facts you might not be aware of about Austria. Let’s get the ball rolling!
1. It runs the world’s oldest zoo today
If you love history and archeology, then you might like what you’ll see in Vienna. Located in Schonbrunn Palace is the Vienna Zoo, which is the oldest in the world, an interesting fact about Austria. It was founded in 1752 as an imperial menagerie and has remained in operation since then. The zoo is considered a scientifically administered area with a primary purpose of conserving species.
But that is not the only site in the country that has survived for centuries. In 803, Haslauer was founded, and it was called Stiftskeller St. Peter. This restaurant remains the oldest not only in the country but the European continent at large. Vienna’s Central Cemetery is another site that has been in place for ages. It is home to at least 2.5 million tombs, a number that is higher than the current population of the city.
2. The ninth most prosperous country in Europe
Believe it or not, Austria is among the top ten wealthiest countries in Europe. According to recent statistics, it ranks 9th with a GDP per Capita of $51,509.03 – that’s over $11,500 more than the United Kingdom, which is regarded as one of the superpowers in the world. However, this is a significant drop from five or so years ago when it ranked second in the region. These statistics go to show the strength of Austria economically.
3. It is home to some of the most famous people
Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most popular names in the world of film-making and movies. However, did you know that he was born and raised in Austria? Now you know. Inasmuch as the country is still trying to catch with other economic powers within and outside Europe, Austria has its share of pride. An interesting fact about Austria is that apart from Schwarzenegger, it also boasts of names like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sigmund Freud, and Franz Kafka, all of which are celebrities in various fields.
4. It is largely mountainous
Austria is best known for some of the tallest mountains in Europe. These alpine sites, coupled up with forests, are what give the Austrian terrain its character. About 62% of the country’s land is covered by the Austrian Alps and hosts Europe’s second-highest peak – Großglockner – which is about 3.8 kilometers tall. This peak is just one among over 45 such features that define the country’s appearance. According to recent reports, 13 of these peaks are at least 3 kilometers tall each.
5. It is home to some famous scientists and inventors
In our daily lives, each one of us uses at least one product of a scientific invention. However, do you know where some of these things originated? Well, I am sure you have used at least one product or service that was invented in Austria. One of the most significant players in the world of science, Christian Doppler, hailed from Salzburg, Austria. He is best known for the Doppler Effect, which is currently being used by meteorologists, a fun Austria fact.
The sewing machine was also first used in Austria after Josef Madersperger’s breakthrough. Austria also boasts of other inventions such as the alkaline battery, slow motion, and psychoanalysis.
6. Austrians Still Embrace the Traditional Clothing
Yes, times have changed, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore our traditions. Austrians are definitely not forgetting their origin any time soon, given how much they have stuck with their traditional clothes. Tracht (traditional dress), for instance, was once attached to rural conservatives, but it is becoming a favorite dress for some Austrians. The political stigma – especially from foreigners – that clung to some of the classic style probably due to Hitler’s character hasn’t stopped the people from embracing what they love. In fact, the Tracht is accepted as part of one’s formal attire regardless of the event.
7. It is one of the most eco-friendly countries in the country
A staggering 63% of Austria’s waste is recycled from industries and homesteads, hence making the environment fresh and favorable as possible. An interesting fact about Austria is that its citizens are known to be some of the best appreciators of nature, and that is evident from the work they’ve put in ensuring high hygiene. It is also worth noting that a more significant percentage of electricity used in the country is generated from renewable energy sources. As such, air pollution is reduced significantly. That is further helped by the fact that the country is covered by vast forests.
8. Austria’s flag is one of the oldest in the world
We’ve already seen that the oldest zoo in the world is located in Austria but what many people don’t know is that the country’s flag also falls under the same category. Dating back to as early as the 12th century, Austria’s flag was among the first to be used as part of the state’s signs. Amazingly, the flag features only two horizontal and parallel red lines separated by a white stripe. As you might have guessed already, this represents the blood that splashed on Duke Leopold V’s tunic in the battle.
9. It has the largest percentage of overweight men
Perhaps this is one fact about Austria that won’t make any Austrian happy, but over 50% of Austrian men are overweight. This is the largest male population of any country in the European Union, which is quite alarming. Curiously though, only 8% of this population is obese, which is the fourth-lowest in the continent. The female numbers, however, are incredible since they rank lowest in both instances.
I hope that this article on Austria facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!