Vienna (Wien). |
83,858 sq km (32,378 sq miles).
of Austria: 8,169,929 (official estimate 2002)
of Vienna (Wien): 1,608,144 (official estimate 1999)
Population Density: 97.4 per sq km.
Austria is a landlocked country, bordered by Switzerland,
Liechtenstein, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic,
Slovenia, Hungary and Italy. A mountainous country, nearly half
of which is covered with forests. Austria’s 9 Federal Provinces
form a political entity, but reflect a diversity of landscapes falling
into 5 sections:
The Eastern Alps (62.8 per cent)
The Alpine and Carpathian Foothills (11.3 per cent)
The Pannonian Lowlands (11.3 per cent)
The Vienna Basin (4.4 per cent)
The Granite and Gneiss Highlands or Bohemian Massif (10.1 per cent)
Austria’s highest mountain is Grossglockner
(3798m/12,465ft). On its way from the Black Forest in southern Germany
to the Black Sea, the River Danube flows approximately
360km (220 miles) through Austria. The vegetation changes according
to the climate with the lower regions being densely wooded, with
fir predominating above 1600ft and giving way to larch and stone-pine
beyond 4000ft, the Alpine foothills consist predominantly of arable
land and grassland (above 2000ft). The Pannonian
region is characterised by scrub and heathland.
Head of State: President Heinz
Fischer since 2004.
Head of Government: Chancellor
Wolfgang Schüssel since 2000.
German is the official language.
Regional dialects are pronounced and within the different regions
of the country one will encounter marked variations from Hochdeutsch,
ie ‘standard’ German. There are Croatian and Slovene-speaking
minorities in the Burgenland and southern Carinthia respectively.
Religion: 78 per cent
Roman Catholic, 5 per cent Protestant, 4.5 per cent other denominations.
Time: GMT + 1 (GMT from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
Electricity : 220 volts AC,
50Hz. Round two-pin European plugs are standard