Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Exalt, Psalms 78, John 3:13-17, Saint Notburga, Tyrol Austria

Friday, September 14, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 
Exalt, Psalms 78, John 3:13-17, Saint Notburga, Tyrol Austria

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  exalt  ex·alt  [ig-zawlt]

Origin:  1375–1425; late Middle English exalten  < Latin exaltāre  to lift up, equivalent to ex- ex-1  + alt ( us ) high + -āre  infinitive ending

verb (used with object)

1. to raise in rank, honor, power, character, quality, etc.; elevate: He was exalted to the position of president.
2. to praise; extol: to exalt someone to the skies.
3. to stimulate, as the imagination: The lyrics of Shakespeare exalted the audience.
4. to intensify, as a color: complementary colors exalt each other.
5. Obsolete . to elate, as with pride or joy.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 78:1-2, 34-38

1 [Psalm Of Asaph] My people, listen to my teaching, pay attention to what I say.
2 I will speak to you in poetry, unfold the mysteries of the past.
34 Whenever he slaughtered them, they began to seek him, they turned back and looked eagerly for him,
35 recalling that God was their rock, God the Most High, their redeemer.
36 They tried to hoodwink him with their mouths, their tongues were deceitful towards him;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 But in his compassion he forgave their guilt instead of killing them, time and again repressing his anger instead of rousing his full wrath,


Today's Gospel Reading - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross - John 3:13-17

Anyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life.
LECTIO DIVINA: John 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus: 'No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of man; as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.
a) Key for the reading:
The text proposed to us by the Liturgy has been taken from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It should not surprise us that the passage chosen for this celebration forms part of the fourth Gospel, because, it is precisely this Gospel which presents the mystery of the cross of the Lord, as the exaltation. This is clear from the beginning of the Gospel: “as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up” (Jn 3, 14; Dn 7, 13). John explains the mystery of the Incarnate Word in the paradoxical movement of the descent-ascent (Jn 1, 14.18; 3, 13). In fact, it is this mystery which offers the key for the reading in order to understand the evolution of the identity and of the mission of the passus et gloriosus of Jesus Christ, and that we may well say that this is not only valid for the text of John. The Letter to the Ephesians, for example, uses this paradoxical movement to explain the mystery of Christ: “Now, when it says, ‘he went up’, it must mean that he had gone down to the deepest levels of the earth” (Ef 4, 9).
Jesus is the Son of God who becoming Son of man (Jn 3,13) makes known to us the mysteries of God (Jn 1, 18). He alone can do this, in so far as he alone has seen the Father (Jn 6, 46). We can say that the mystery of the Word who descends from Heaven responds to the yearning of the prophets: who will go up to heaven to reveal this mystery to us? (cf. Dt 30, 12; Pr 30, 4). The fourth Gospel is over fool of references to the mystery of he who “is from Heaven” (1 Co 15, 47). The following are some quotations or references: Jn 6, 33. 38.51. 62; 8, 42; 16, 28-30; 17, 5.
The exaltation of Jesus is precisely in his descent to come to us, up to death, and the death on the Cross, on which he was lifted up like the serpent in the desert, which, “anybody… who looked at it would survive” (Nm 21,7-9; Zc 12,10). John reminds us in the scene of the death of Jesus of Christ being lifted up: “They will look to the one whom they have pierced” (Jn 19, 37). In the context of the fourth Gospel, to turn and look means, “to know”, “to understand”, “to see”.
Frequently, in John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about his being lifted up: “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am He” (Jn 8,28); “when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all peoples to myself. By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die” (Jn 12, 32-33). In the Synoptics also Jesus announces to his disciples the mystery of his condemnation to death on the cross (see Mt 20, 27-29; Mk 10, 32-34; Lk 18, 31-33). In fact, Christ had “to suffer all that to enter into his glory” (Lk 24, 26).
This mystery reveals the great love which God has for us. He is the Son given to us, “so that anyone who believes in him will not be lost, but will have eternal life”, this Son whom we have rejected and crucified. But precisely in this rejection on our part, God has manifested himself to us his fidelity and his love which does not stop before the hardness of our heart. And even in spite of our rejection and our contempt he gives us salvation (cf. Acts 4, 27-28), remaining firm in fulfilling his plan of mercy: God, in fact, has not sent his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world may be saved through him”.
b) A few questions:
i) What struck you in the Gospel?
ii) What does the exaltation of Christ and of his cross mean for you?
iii) What consequences does this paradoxical movement of descent-ascent imply in the living out of faith?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St. Notburga

Feast Day: September 14
Patron Saint: servants and peasants

Saint Notburga
Saint Notburga (c. 1265 – September 16, 1313), also known as Notburga of Rattenberg or Notburga of Eben, was an Austrian saint from modern Tyrol. She is the patron saint of servants and peasants.Notburga was a cook in the household of Count Henry of Rattenberg, and used to give food to the poor. But Ottilia, her mistress, ordered her to feed any leftover food to the pigs. To continue her mission, Notburga began to save some of her own food, especially on Fridays, and brought it to the poor. According to her legend, one day her master met her and commanded her to show him what she was carrying. She obeyed but instead of the food he saw only shavings, and instead of wine, vinegar. As a result of Notburga's actions, Ottilia dismissed her, but soon fell dangerously ill. Notburga remained to nurse her and prepared her for death.

Next, Notburga worked for a peasant in Eben am Achensee, on the condition that she be permitted to go to church evenings before Sundays and festivals. One evening her master urged her to continue working in the field. Throwing her sickle into the air she supposedly said: "Let my sickle be judge between me and you," and the sickle remained suspended in the air. In the meantime, Count Henry had suffered difficulties, which he ascribed to his dismissal of Notburga, so he rehired her. Shortly before her death she is said to have told her master to place her corpse on a wagon drawn by two oxen and to bury her wherever the oxen stood still. The oxen drew the wagon to the chapel of St. Rupert near Eben, where she was buried.

Notburga's cult was ratified on March 27, 1862, and her feast is celebrated on September 14. She is usually represented with an ear of corn, or flowers and a sickle in her hand; sometimes the sickle is suspended in the air.


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Notburga". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.

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Today's Snippet I:  Tyrol, Austria

Tyrol is a federal state (Bundesland) in western Austria. It comprises the Austrian part of the historic Princely County of Tyrol, corresponding with the present-day Euroregion Tyrol–South Tyrol–Trentino. The capital of Tyrol is Innsbruck. The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land (Kronland) of Austria-Hungary. Today its territory is divided between the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, a small part of the Italian region of Veneto (Cortina d'Ampezzo and other villages) and the Austrian state of Tyrol. Both regions are today associated again in the Euroregion Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino.


The state is split into two parts–a larger called North Tyrol (Nordtirol) and smaller East Tyrol (Osttirol)–by a 20-kilometre (12 mi) -wide strip of the Alpine divide where the neighbouring Austrian state of Salzburg borders directly on the Italian province of South Tyrol. With a land area of 12,647.71 km2 (4,883.31 sq mi), it is the third largest state in Austria. North Tyrol borders on the federal state of Salzburg in the east and on Vorarlberg in the west, in the north it adjoins the German state of Bavaria, and in the south Italian South Tyrol (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region) as well as the Swiss canton of Graubünden. East Tyrol also borders on the federal state of Carinthia in the east and on the Italian Province of Belluno (Veneto) in the south. The state's territory is entirely located in the Eastern Alps at the important Brenner Pass. The highest mountain in the state is the Großglockner within the Hohe Tauern range at the border with Carinthia, with an elevation of 3,797 m (12,457.35 ft.) it is also the highest mountain of Austria.



Topography of Austria
Archaeological findings show people settled in the middle alpine region, later to be called Tyrol, when the glaciers retreated and flora and fauna revived, after the last ice age ended around 12,000 BC. Artifacts found on the Seiser Alm date to the Upper Paleolithic era. In the valley bottoms near Bolzano, Brixen and Salorno, mesolithic hunters resting places were discovered. Stone artefacts recovered there were dated to the 8th millennia BC. Discovery of Ötzi on the Similaun glacier in 1991 proved man had already crossed the highest Alpine passes 5000 years ago. Sedentary settlements of farmers and herders can be traced back to 5000 BC. There is ample evidence of settlements in the main and side valleys during the early and middle Bronze Age (1800-1300 BC). Preferred settlement sites were sunny terraces on the valleys slopes, and hill tops in the middle heights.

In the Bronze and Iron Ages the region was home to a series of autochthonous cultures occupying roughly the area of the later county of Tyrol. The most prominent are the late Bronze Age Laugen-Melaun culture and Iron Age Fritzens-Sanzeno culture cultures.

The Laugen-Melaun culture, named after two important archaeological sites near the modern-day town of Brixen in South Tyrol, originated in the 14th century BC, in the area of today's South Tyrol and Trentino. It soon spread over the central area of the Southern Alps, encompassing South and East Tyrol, Trentino north of Rovereto and the Lower Engadine; the northern part of Tyrol came under the influence of the Urnfield culture. Distinguishing factors include its characteristic richly decorated pottery, while the metal-working is strongly influenced by adjacent cultures. As in the Urnfield culture, Laugen-Melaun-people cremated their dead, placing their ashes in urns, and worshipping their gods in sanctuaries sometimes sited in remote areas, on mountain-tops or close to water. Rich burial objects show that from the 13th to 11th century BC, the Laugen-Melaun culture (Laugen-Melaun A) flourished, due to the mining of Copper, the source material for the alloy Bronze.

Around 500 BC the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture, also known as culture of the Raeti, after the goddess Raetia who according to roman authors was the main deity of the people inhabiting the region, succeeds both the Laugen-Melaun culture of the southern and the Urnfield culture of the northern part of Tyrol. As in the preceding culture, the richly ornamented pottery is very characteristic, while many aspects such as the metal-working, burial customs and religion are strongly influenced by its neighbours, primarily the Etruscans and Celts. Nonetheless, the Fritzens-Sanzeno-people possessed important distinct cultural traits distinguishing them from adjacent groups, such as the typical mountain-sanctuaries already in use during the time of the Laugen-Melaun culture, certain types of fibulae, bronze armor, and an own alphabet derived from one of North Etruscan alphabets (but not from the Etruscan alphabet). The language of the Raeti was kin to Estruscan, but different enough to suppose very ancient divergence between them.


In 15 BCE the region was conquered by the Romans, and its northern and eastern part incorporated into the Roman Empire as the provinces of Raetia and Noricum respectively. The part south of and including the area around the modern day cities of Bolzano and Merano became part of Italia's Regio X. As in the rest of Europe, the Roman era left deep impressions on the culture and language, with the Rhaeto-Romance languages.

Middle Ages

After the conquest of Italy by the Goths, Tyrol became part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom from the 5th to the 6th century. After the fall of the Ostrogothic Kingdom in 553, the Germanic tribe of the Lombards invaded Italy and founded the Lombard Kingdom of Italy, which no longer included all of Tyrol, only its southern part. The northern part of Tyrol came under the influence of the Bavarii, while the west probably was part of Alamannia. Thus, Tyrol was divided among three spheres of influence that met in the approximate area of today's Bolzano. During the 6th century Bavaria and Alamannia became stem duchies of the Frankish Kingdom. On conquering the Lombard Kingdom of Italy in 774, Charlemagne had himself crowned King of the Lombards. Consequently, Tyrol came to be of great importance as a bridgehead to Italy, which was re-affirmed during the Italian Campaign of Otto I. In the years 1007 and 1027 the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire granted the counties of Trento, Bolzano and Vinschgau to the Bishopric of Trent. In 1027 the county of Norital was granted to the Bishopric of Brixen, followed in 1091 by the county of Puster Valley. Since the Bishops were nominated directly by the Emperor and their office was not hereditary, putting the area under their control was intended to secure it to the Emperors.

Birth of the County of Tyrol

Margaret, Countess of Tyrol
Over the centuries, the Counts residing in Tirol Castle, near Merano, extended their territory over the region. Later counts would hold much of their territory directly from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Meinhardinger family, originating in Gorizia, held not only Tyrol and Gorizia, but for a time the Duchy of Carinthia. At the end of count Meinhard II's rule (1259–1295) the "county and reign of Tyrol" had established itself firmly in the "Land on the Adige and Inn", as the region was then called. This happened on the expense of the power of the bishops, who were nominally the feudal lords of the counts of Tyrol. Meinhard II also introduced more efficient systems for the administration of his territories.

Margarete "Maultasch" was the last effective ruler of Tyrol from the Meinhardiner Dynasty. 1330 she was married to John-Henry (later became the margrave of Moravia), who she repudiated with the help of the Tyrolean aristocracy in order to marry Louis V, Duke of Bavaria, a member of the powerful Wittelsbach dynasty. This weakened the position of the countess and strengthened the local nobility. The only son of Margarete and Louis, Meinhard, died in 1363, two years after his father, leaving the countess without an heir. Margarete Maultasch decided to bequeathe Tyrol to Duke Rudolph IV of the House of Habsburg, probably pressed by the aristocracy, an act which caused a conflict between Meinhard's uncle Stephen II, who forged an alliance with the powerful Lord of Milan Bernabò Visconti to invade Tyrol, and the House of Habsburg. Stephen finally renounced Tyrol to the Habsburgs with the Peace of Schärding for a huge financial compensation after the death of Margarete Maultasch in 1369. The red eagle in Tyrol's coat of arms derives from the red Brandenburg eagle, at the time when Louis V and Margarete Maultasch governed Brandenburg as well.

Habsburg's rule

The acquisition of Tyrol was strategically important to the Habsburg dynasty, since it allowed it to connect their Austrian territories with their territorial possessions in the area of today's Switzerland. From that time, Tyrol was ruled by various lines of the Habsburg family, who bore the title Count. Tyrol repeatedly became involved in the political and military conflicts of the Habsburgs with Milan, Venice, Switzerland and the County of Gorizia, as well as Bavaria and Swabia.

The Battle of Sempach in 1386, in which Leopold III, Duke of Austria was defeated by the Old Swiss Confederacy had important repercussions on Tyrol, and was the first of a series of military conflicts between the county and its neighbours. The 1405-1408 war against the Swiss Appenzeller, 1413 the conflict with Venice and 1410 the invasion of the lower Inn valley by the Bavarians. Under the rule of Frederick IV "Empty Pockets" internal conflicts between the powerful local aristocracy and the duke arose, which eventually led to the decline of the nobles and of their traditional system of values, and strengthened the duke's rule over the country. This enabled Sigismund "Rich in Coin" to continue his father's rule to the end of the 15th century and lead the county into the modern era.

Napoleonic Wars

Following defeat by Napoleon in 1805, Austria was forced to cede Tyrol to the Kingdom of Bavaria in the Peace of Pressburg. Tyrol, as a part of Bavaria, became a member of the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806. Consequently, King Maximilian I of Bavaria introduced far reaching economic, religious and administrative reforms. When in 1808 a new constitution for the Kingdom of Bavaria was introduced, Tyrol was integrated into South Bavaria, and divided into three districts, losing its special status in the kingdom. Furthermore, Tyroleans were now subjected to the Bavarian conscription levies, and faced the prospect of having to fight against Austrian troops. This, together with the economic decline under Bavarian rule, and the kingdom's religious reforms which were opposed by the Catholic population, led to a growing conflict between the Tyrolean population and the Bavarian authorities.

In 1806 delegates from Tyrol travelled to Vienna to make plans for an insurrection of the Tyrolean people. Among them was the later leader of the insurgents, Andreas Hofer. The insurrection began on April 9, 1809 in Innsbruck. On April 12, 1809 Innsbruck was freed by the Tyrolean "Landsturm" commanded by captain Martin Teimer in the battle later known as the First battle of the Bergisel. One day later a military unit of 8000 men consisting of Bavarian and French Troops approached Innsbruck from the Brenner Pass, but was convinced to surrender by captain Teimer, who dressed up as a Major of the regular Austrian army and made the Bavarian officers believe that the Austrian army was approaching Innsbruck, when in fact it was still about 40 miles away. In order to convalidate the capitulation agreement, Teimer was subsequently appointed Major of the Austrian army. Throughout Tyrol, the Bavarian troops were killed or driven out. The Tyroleans fought mainly as skirmishing sharpshooters, taking advantage of the mountainous nature of the land. They were highly mobile and made use of artificial avalanches to combat their enemies.[4] Following the defeat of the Austrian Army on the Bavarian front, Napoleon dispatched Charles Lefebvre to Tyrol, and by May 19 Innsbruck had been seized again and the rebellion seemed quelled.

After Archduke Charles' Austrian army was defeated by Napoleon at the Battle of Wagram, the Armistice of Znaim was signed. Point IV of the agreement stated that Austria was to withdraw its troops from the territories of Vorarlberg and Tyrol, returning them to Bavarian rule. But the Bavarians and the French found it difficult to gain control of the territory, with Tyrolean sharpshooters occupying high places along the roads, blocking roads and setting off avalanches to harm the occupying army. The Tyroleans managed to hold off and inflict heavy casualties on the French and Bavarian troops, and on August 13 the Tyrolean peasant army rallied at the Bergisel again for the decisive Battle. 15000 Bavarian, French and Saxon troops faced almost the same number of Tyrolean irregulars. Surrounded on all sides by the irregulars, and having sustained heavy casualties, Lefebvre was forced to withdraw. Andreas Hofer, who in the meantime had advanced to supreme commander of the insurgents, became regent of Tyrol in the name of the Emperor.

Following the Treaty of Schönbrunn Tyrol was again ceded to Bavaria by the Austrian Emperor. On October 21 Bavarian, French and Italian troops under the command of the Duke Drouet d'Erlon poured into Tyrol, forcing the Tyroleans to retreat to the Bergisel again. As Winter approached, supplies began to dwindle, and many men left to return to their homes. On 28/29 October, news of the peace treaty that had been signed by Austria reached Tyrol. This had catastrophic effects on the morale of the Tyroleans, and Andreas Hofer, betrayed by his emperor, resorted to drinking. The Tyrolean morale had been broken. On November 1 Drouet d'Erlon had recaptured Innsbruck and the Bergisel, and by 11 November 1809, Tyrol was entirely occupied. Hofer fled into the mountains, and on 5 January 1810 he was betrayed and denounced to the authorities. On 28 January, he, his wife and his son were taken to Bolzano. Napoleon learnt of the capture at the start of February and ordered Hofer to be tried and executed. This order was acted upon soon and Hofer died at the dungeon of the fortress of Mantua on February 20, 1810.
The execution of Hofer, considered a Tyrolean hero until today, is the topic of the song Zu Mantua in Banden, since 1948 the Tyrol's official anthem.

Crownland of Tyrol

Tyrol remained divided under Bavarian and Italian authority for another four years, before its reunification and return to Austria following the decisions at the Congress of Vienna in 1814. Integrated into the Austrian Empire, from 1867 onwards, it was a Kronland (Crown Land) of Cisleithania, the western half of Austria-Hungary.

World War I

The former Tyrol today (excluding Cortina and Livinallongo)
On the eve of World War I, the southern part of the Austrian crown land of Tyrol was populated mainly by Italian speakers (the so called Welschtirol, or Trentino). Its border coincided with the present-day border between South Tyrol and Trentino, crossing the Adige valley at Salorno (Chiusa di Salorno/Salurner Klause). The existence of areas largely populated by Italian-speaking populations under the rule of the Austrian Empire was a constant cause of friction between Austria and Italy, a national state set on the unification of all Italians. Being part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria was "an embarrassment, if not a contradiction" for Italy. Italy's fear that it would not get what it wanted in the event of a victorious Triple Alliance caused it to remain neutral during the first year of the war, and the preoccupation that it wouldn't get what it wanted from a victorious Entente either if it remained neutral led it to join the war on the side of the latter. Italy conducted intense negotiations with Austria, which was prepared to part with Trentino in exchange of Italy's neutrality, but Italy wanted (among other things) to reach the Alpine water divide, which it claimed as its 'natural border', a demand which Austria refused, since it would have meant giving up a territory regarded as personal fief by the Habsburg Emperors. On 26 April 1915, Italy signed the Treaty of London, agreeing to declare war against the Central Powers in exchange for the unredeemed territories of Trentino, Gorizia, Trieste and Dalmatia, as well as the part of German Tyrol south of the main Alpine divide. Apart from these territorial gains the alliance change enabled Italy to realise its aspiration: Italian military dominance in the Mediterranean. The ideals of irredentism were used to convince the population of the necessity of the war, but the true motive of the political leadership to join the war was their idea that Italy should become a great European power.

War against the Austro-Hungarian Empire was declared May 24, 1915. This put Tyrol on the front line, which passed through some of the highest mountains in the Alps. The ensuing front became known as the "War in ice and snow", as troops occupied the highest mountains and glaciers all year long. Twelve metres (40 feet) of snow were common during the winter of 1915–16, and tens of thousands of soldiers disappeared in avalanches. The remains of these soldiers are still being uncovered today. The Italian Alpini, their Austrian counterparts (Kaiserjäger, Standschützen and Landesschützen), and the German Alpenkorps occupied every hill and mountain top. They began carving extensive fortifications and military quarters, even drilling tunnels inside the mountains and deep into glaciers, like at Marmolada. Hundreds of troops would drag guns over mountains up to 3,890 m (12,760 ft). Streets, cable cars, mountain railways and walkways through the steepest of walls were built. The first to occupy higher ground became almost impossible to dislodge, so both sides turned to drilling tunnels under mountain peaks, filling them up with explosives, then detonating the entire mountain, including its defenders, such as Col di Lana, Monte Pasubio, Lagazuoi, etc. Climbing and skiing became essential skills for the troops of both sides and soon Ski Battalions and Special Climbing units were formed.

On May 15, 1916, the Austrian army staged an attack from the Trentino, unaided by the German army, whose command had advised against such a move. Several divisions were withdrawn from the Russian front to achieve necessary troop strength. The offensive was of limited tactical success. Austrians penetrated twelve miles into Italian territory, inflicting heavy casualties on the Italians, but fell short of their strategic and political goals. This inconclusive attack weakened the eastern front, which enabled the Russian Army to overrun Austrian positions in Galicia and threaten the heart of the Habsburg Empire

The armistice

After the Battle of Asiago in 1916, which ended in a stalemate and brought only minor territorial gains to Austria, the Tyrolean frontline remained largely static. The main battles were fought elsewhere. This changed in October, 1918, with Austro-Hungarian defeat in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, the Imperial army collapsed and started to withdraw and, on 29 October, the Austro-Hungarians asked for an armistice. On 30 October 1918, the Austro-Hungarian army was split in two. The armistice was signed at 3.20 p.m., November 3, to become effective 24 hours later, at 3.00 p.m., November 4. Following the signing of the armistice, Austrian General Weber informed his Italian counterparts that the Imperial army had already laid down its weapons, due to a previous order and requested combat and Italian advancement to cease. The Italian General Pietro Badoglio sharply rejected the proposal, and threatened to stop all negotiations and continue the war. General Weber repeated the request, with no results. Even before the order to cease hostilities, the Imperial Army had already started to collapse, ceasing to exist as a combat force. Italian troops continued their advance until 3.00 p.m. on November 4. The occupation of all Tyrol, including Innsbruck, was completed in the days that followed.

Under the terms of the Austrian-Italian Armistice of Villa Giusti, as well as being required to evacuate all territory occupied since August, Austria-Hungary's forces were required to withdraw from South Tyrol, Tarvisio, the Isonzo valley, Gorizia, Trieste, Istria, western Carniola, and Dalmatia. Terms mandated German forces expulsion from Austria-Hungary within 15 days or their internment, and the Allies were to have free use of Austria-Hungary's internal communications. They were also obliged to allow Entente armies' transit, to reach Germany from the South.

The Italian General Rodolfo Graziani's 11th Italian army continued to advance, supported on the right by the 9th army. The result was that Austria-Hungary lost about 30,000 casualties and between 300,000-500,000 prisoners (50,000 by 31 October, 100,000 by 1 November and 428,000 by 4 November). Italian losses numbered about 38,000, including 145 French and 374 Britons.

It appears that the large quantity of prisoners stemmed from the Austrian command decision that captivity in Italy was preferable to starvation at home. After the armistice, hundreds of thousands of Austrian soldiers without weapons, food and discipline made their way home through the alpine valleys. The alpine villages were caught between the retreating, half-starved soldiers who repeatedly resorted to theft and robbery to survive, and the advancing Italian army. At the same time, great numbers of Italian war prisoners were making their way south towards their homeland. Austria did not have the means to guarantee the orderly retreat of its own army or the organized return of Italian war prisoners. In the meantime, Italian occupation of Tyrol was going as planned. On 11 November, Italian troops occupied the Brenner Pass and the Pass at Toblach. To secure access to the Inn valley, crucial for an advance into southern Germany, Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol, and the village Landeck were occupied as well. On 10 January 1919, the commander of the 3rd army corps, Gen. Ugo Sani, was appointed military governor of northern Tyrol with residence in Innsbruck.

After World War I

The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of 1919 ruled that, according to the Treaty of London, the southern part of Tyrol had to be ceded to the Kingdom of Italy. Italy's border was pushed northward to the strategically important Alpine water divide, including present day-South Tyrol with its large German-speaking majority. The northern part of Tyrol was retained by the First Austrian Republic

In the course of the German Mediatisation in 1803, the prince-bishoprics of Trent and Brixen were securalised and merged into the County of Tyrol, which the next year became a constituent land of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 was a Cisleithanian Kronland (royal territory) of Austria-Hungary. The County of Tyrol then extended beyond the boundaries of today's state, including in addition to North Tyrol and East Tyrol the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Trentino (Welschtirol) as well as three municipalities, which today are part of the adjacent Province of Belluno. After World War I, these lands became part of the Kingdom of Italy according to the 1915 London Pact and the provisions of the Treaty of Saint Germain.
After WWII, Tyrol was governed by France until Austria regained independence in 1955.

20th century

Brenne Pass,  Modern Day Autobahn
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip was used by leading Austrian politicians and generals to persuade the emperor to declare war on Serbia, thereby risking and prompting the outbreak of World War I which led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over one million Austro-Hungarian soldiers died in World War I.

On 21 October 1918, the elected German members of the Reichsrat (parliament of Imperial Austria) met in Vienna as the Provisional National Assembly for German Austria (Provisorische Nationalversammlung für Deutschösterreich). On 30 October the assembly founded the State of German Austria by appointing a government, called Staatsrat. This new government was invited by the emperor to take part in the decision on the planned armistice with Italy, but refrained from this business; this left the responsibility for the end of the war on 3 November 1918, solely to the emperor and his government. On 11 November the emperor, counseled by ministers of the old and the new government, declared he would not take part in state business any more; on 12 November German Austria, by law, declared itself to be a democratic republic and part of the new German republic. The constitution, renaming Staatsrat to Bundesregierung (federal government) and Nationalversammlung to Nationalrat (national council) was passed on 10 November 1920.

The Treaty of Saint-Germain of 1919 (for Hungary the Treaty of Trianon of 1920) confirmed and consolidated the new order of Central Europe which to a great part had been established in November 1918, creating new states and resizing others. Over 3-million German speaking Austrians found themselves living outside of the newborn Austrian Republic as minorities in the newly formed or enlarged respective states of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Italy. This included the provinces of South Tyrol and German Bohemia, the latter of which would play a role in sparking WWII. The South Tyrol question would become a lingering problem between Austria and Italy until it was officially settled by the 1980s with a large degree of autonomy being granted by the Italian national government. Between 1918 and 1919 Austria was known as the State of German Austria (Staat Deutschösterreich). Not only did the Entente powers forbid German Austria to unite with Germany, they also rejected the name German Austria in the peace treaty to be signed; it was therefore changed to Republic of Austria in late 1919. The border between Austria and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) was finally settled with the Carinthian Plebiscite in October 1920 and allocated the major part of the territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Crownland of Carinthia to Austria. This set the border on the Karawanken mountain range, with a lot of Slovenes remaining in Austria.

After the war inflation began to devaluate the Krone, still Austria's currency. In the autumn of 1922 Austria was granted an international loan supervised by the League of Nations. The purpose of the loan was to avert bankruptcy, stabilise the currency and improve its general economic condition. With the granting of the loan, Austria passed from an independent state to the control exercised by the League of Nations. In 1925 the Schilling, replacing the Krone by 10,000:1, was introduced. Later it was called the Alpine dollar due to its stability. From 1925 to 1929 the economy enjoyed a short high before nearly crashing after Black Friday.
The First Austrian Republic lasted until 1933 when Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, using what he called "self-switch-off of Parliament" (Selbstausschaltung des Parlaments), established an autocratic regime tending toward Italian fascism. The two big parties at this time, the Social Democrats and the Conservatives, had paramilitary armies; the Social Democrats' Schutzbund was now declared illegal but still operative as civil war broke out.

In February 1934 several members of the Schutzbund were executed, the Social Democratic party was outlawed and many of its members were imprisoned or emigrated. On 1 May 1934, the Austrofascists imposed a new constitution ("Maiverfassung") which cemented Dollfuss's power but on 25 July he was assassinated in a Nazi coup attempt.

His successor, Kurt Schuschnigg, struggled to keep Austria independent as "the better German state", but on 12 March 1938, Austrian Nazis took over government, while German troops occupied the country. On 13 March 1938, the Anschluss of Austria was officially declared. Two days later Hitler (an Austrian by birth), did what he called the "re-unification" of his home country with the "rest of Germany" on Vienna's Heldenplatz. He established a plebiscite confirming the union with Germany in April 1938.

Austria was incorporated into the Third Reich and ceased to exist as an independent country. The Aryanisation of the wealth of Jewish Austrians started immediately mid-March with a so called "wild" (i.e. extra-legal) phase but soon was structured legally and bureaucratically to strip Jewish citizens of any asset they may have possessed. The Nazis called Austria "Ostmark" until 1942 when it was again renamed and called "Alpen-Donau-Reichsgaue". Some of the most prominent Nazis were native Austrians, including Adolf Hitler, Adolf Eichmann, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Franz Stangl, and Odilo Globocnik,as were 40% of the staff at Nazi extermination camps. Vienna fell on 13 April 1945, during the Soviet Vienna Offensive just before the total collapse of the Third Reich. The invading Allied powers, in particular the Americans, planned for the supposed "Alpine Fortress Operation" of national redoubt that was largely to have taken place on Austrian soil in the mountains of the eastern Alps. However it never materialized because of the rapid collapse of the Reich.

Karl Renner and Adolf Schärf (Socialist Party of Austria [Social Democrats and Revolutionary Socialists]), Leopold Kunschak (Austria's People's Party [former Christian Social People's Party]) and Johann Koplenig (Communist Party of Austria) declared Austria's secession from the Third Reich by the Declaration of Independence on 27 April 1945 and set up a provisional government in Vienna under state Chancellor Renner the same day, with the approval of the victorious Red Army and backed by Joseph Stalin. (The date is officially named the birthday of the second republic.) At the end of April, most of Western and Southern Austria still was under Nazi rule. On 1 May 1945, the federal constitution of 1929, which had been terminated by dictator Dollfuss on 1 May 1934, was declared valid again.

Total military deaths from 1939 to 1945 are estimated at 260,000. Jewish Holocaust victims totaled 65,000. About 140,000 Jewish Austrians had fled the country in 1938–39. Thousands of Austrians had taken part in serious Nazi crimes (hundreds of thousands died in Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp only), a fact officially recognised by Chancellor Franz Vranitzky in 1992.

Much like Germany, Austria was divided into British, French, Soviet and American zones and governed by the Allied Commission for Austria. As forecast in the Moscow Declaration in 1943, there was a subtle difference in the treatment of Austria by the Allies. The Austrian Government, consisting of Social Democrats, Conservatives and Communists (until 1947) and residing in Vienna, which was surrounded by the Soviet zone, was recognised by the Western Allies in October 1945 after some doubts that Renner could be Stalin's puppet. Thereby the creation of a separate Western Austrian government and the division of the country could be avoided. Austria, in general, was treated as though it had been originally invaded by Germany and liberated by the Allies.

On 15 May 1955, after talks which lasted for years and were influenced by the Cold War, Austria regained full independence by concluding the Austrian State Treaty with the Four Occupying Powers. On 26 October 1955, after all occupation troops had left, Austria declared its "permanent neutrality" by an act of parliament, which remains to this day but has been implicitly overlapped by constitutional amendments concerning Austria as member of the European Union from 1995 onwards.[57]

The political system of the Second Republic is based on the constitution of 1920 and 1929, which was reintroduced in 1945. The system came to be characterised by Proporz, meaning that most posts of political importance were split evenly between members of the Social Democrats and the People's Party. Interest group "chambers" with mandatory membership (e.g. for workers, business people, farmers) grew to considerable importance and were usually consulted in the legislative process, so that hardly any legislation was passed that did not reflect widespread consensus. Since 1945 a single-party government took place only 1966–1970 (Conservatives) and 1970–1983 (Social Democrats). During all other legislative periods, either a grand coalition of Conservatives and Social Democrats or a "small coalition" (one of these two and a smaller party) ruled the country.

Following a referendum in 1994, at which consent reached a majority of two thirds, the country became a member of the European Union on 1 January 1995. The major parties SPÖ and ÖVP have contrary opinions about the future status of Austria's military non-alignment. While the SPÖ in public supports a neutral role, the ÖVP argues for stronger integration into the EU's security policy; even a future NATO membership is not ruled out by some ÖVP politicians. In reality, Austria is taking part in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, participates in the so-called Petersburg Agenda (including peace keeping and peace creating tasks) and has become member of NATO's "Partnership for Peace"; the constitution has been amended accordingly. Since Liechtenstein joined the Schengen Area in 2011, none of Austria's neighbouring countries performs border controls towards it anymore.



The Basilica of Mariazell ,Austria's popular pilgrimage site
At the end of the 20th century, about 74% of Austria's population were registered as Roman Catholic, while about 5% considered themselves Protestants. Austrian Christians are obliged to pay a mandatory membership fee (calculated by income—about 1%) to their church; this payment is called "Kirchenbeitrag" ("Ecclesiastical/Church contribution").

Since the second half of the 20th century, the number of adherents and churchgoers has declined. Data for the end of 2005 from the Austrian Roman Catholic church lists 5,662,782 members, or 68.5% of the total Austrian population, and a Sunday church attendance of 753,701 or 9% of the total Austrian population. Data for the end of 2008 published by the Austrian Roman Catholic church shows a further reduction to 5,579,493 members or 66.8% of the total Austrian population, and a Sunday church attendance of 698,527 or 8% of the total Austrian population. The Lutheran church also recorded a loss of 47904 adherents between 2001 and 2008. As of January 2010 the percentage of catholics in Austria declined to 64.8%.
About 12% of the population declared that they have no religion. in 2001. Of the remaining people, around 340,000 are registered as members of various Muslim communities, mainly due to the influx from Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. About 180,000 are members of Orthodox Churches (mostly Serbs), about 21,000 people are active Jehovah's Witnesses and about 8,100 are Jewish.

The Austrian Jewish Community of 1938—Vienna alone counted more than 200,000—was reduced to around 4,500 during the Second World War, with approximately 65,000 Jewish Austrians killed in the Holocaust and 130,000 emigrating. The large majority of the current Jewish population are post-war immigrants, particularly from eastern Europe and central Asia (including Bukharan Jews). Buddhism was legally recognised as a religion in Austria in 1983.

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,
  • 54% of Austrian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
  • 34% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
  • 8% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
While northern and central Germany was the origin of the Reformation, Austria and Bavaria were the heart of the Counter-Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries, when the absolute monarchy of Habsburg imposed a strict regime to restore Catholicism's power and influence among Austrians. The Habsburgs for a long time viewed themselves as the vanguard of Catholicism and all other confessions and religions were repressed.

In 1781, in the era of Austrian enlightenment, Emperor Joseph II issued a Patent of Tolerance for Austria that allowed other confessions a limited freedom of worship. Religious freedom was declared a constitutional right in Cisleithania after the Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich in 1867 thus paying tribute to the fact that the monarchy was home of numerous religions beside Roman Catholicism such as Greek, Serbian, Romanian, Russian, and Bulgarian Orthodox Christians (Austria neighboured the Ottoman Empire for centuries), Calvinist, Lutheran Protestants and Jews. In 1912, after the annexation of Bosnia Hercegovina in 1908, Islam was officially recognised in Austria.

Austria remained largely influenced by Catholicism. After 1918, First Republic Catholic leaders such as Theodor Innitzer and Ignaz Seipel took leading positions within or close to Austria's government and increased their influence during the time of the Austrofascism; Catholicism was treated much like a state religion by Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg. Although Catholic (and Protestant) leaders initially welcomed the Germans in 1938 during the Anschluss of Austria into Germany, Austrian Catholicism stopped its support of Nazism later on and many former religious public figures became involved with the resistance during the Third Reich. After the end of World War II in 1945, a stricter secularism was imposed in Austria, and religious influence on politics declined.


Stiftsgymnasium Melk is the oldest Austrian school
Education in Austria is entrusted partly to the Austrian states (Bundesländer) and partly to the federal government. School attendance is compulsory for nine years, i.e. usually to the age of fifteen.
Pre-school education (called Kindergarten in German), free in most states, is provided for all children between the ages of three and six years and, whilst optional, is considered a normal part of a child's education due to its high takeup rate. Maximum class size is around 30, each class normally being cared for by one qualified teacher and one assistant.

Primary education, or Volksschule, lasts for four years, starting at age six. The maximum class size is 30, but may be as low as 15. It is generally expected that a class will be taught by one teacher for the entire four years and the stable bond between teacher and pupil is considered important for a child's well-being. The so called "3Rs"(Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic) dominate lesson time, with less time allotted to project work than in the UK. Children work individually and all members of a class follow the same plan of work. There is no streaming.

Standard attendance times are 8 am to 12 pm or 1 pm, with hourly five- or ten-minute breaks. Children are given homework daily from the first year. Historically there has been no lunch hour, with children returning home to eat. However, due to a rise in the number of mothers in work, primary schools are increasingly offering pre-lesson and afternoon care.

As in Germany, secondary education consists of two main types of schools, attendance at which is based on a pupil's ability as determined by grades from the primary school. The Gymnasium caters for the more able children, in the final year of which the Matura examination is taken, which is a requirement for access to university. The Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education but also for various types of further education (Höhere Technische Lehranstalt HTL = institution of higher technical education; HAK = commercial academy; HBLA = institution of higher education for economic business; etc.). Attendance at one of these further education institutes also leads to the Matura. Some schools aim to combine the education available at the Gymnasium and the Hauptschule, and are known as Gesamtschulen. In addition, a recognition of the importance of learning English has led some Gymnasiums to offer a bilingual stream, in which pupils deemed able in languages follow a modified curriculum, a portion of the lesson time being conducted in English.

As at primary school, lessons at Gymnasium begin at 8 am and continue with short intervals until lunchtime or early afternoon, with children returning home to a late lunch. Older pupils often attend further lessons after a break for lunch, generally eaten at school. As at primary level, all pupils follow the same plan of work. Great emphasis is placed on homework and frequent testing. Satisfactory marks in the end-of-the-year report ("Zeugnis") are a prerequisite for moving up ("aufsteigen") to the next class. Pupils who do not meet the required standard re-sit their tests at the end of the summer holidays; those whose marks are still not satisfactory are required to re-sit the year ("sitzenbleiben").

It is not uncommon for a pupil to re-sit more than one year of school. After completing the first two years, pupils choose between one of two strands, known as "Gymnasium" (slightly more emphasis on arts) or "Realgymnasium" (slightly more emphasis on science). Whilst many schools offer both strands, some do not, and as a result, some children move schools for a second time at age 12. At age 14, pupils may choose to remain in one of these two strands, or to change to a vocational course, possibly with a further change of school.

The Austrian university system had been open to any student who passed the Matura examination until recently. A 2006 bill allowed the introduction of entrance exams for studies such as Medicine. In 2001, an obligatory tuition fee ("Studienbeitrag") of €363.36 per term was introduced for all public universities. Since 2008, for all EU students the studies have been free of charge, as long as a certain time-limit is not exceeded (the expected duration of the study plus usually two terms tolerance). When the time-limit is exceeded, the fee of around €363.36 per term is charged. Some further exceptions to the fee apply, e.g. for students with a year's salary of more than about €5000. In all cases, an obligatory fee of €17 is charged for the student union and insurance.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Austria's past as a European power and its cultural environment have generated a broad contribution to various forms of art, most notably among them music. Austria has been the birthplace of many famous composers such as Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss, Sr. and Johann Strauss, Jr. as well as members of the Second Viennese School such as Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and Alban Berg. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, then an independent Church Principality of the Holy Roman Empire, though one that was culturally closely connected to Austria, and much of Mozart's career was spent in Vienna.

Vienna has long been especially an important centre of musical innovation. 18th and 19th century composers were drawn to the city due to the patronage of the Habsburgs, and made Vienna the European capital of classical music. During the Baroque period, Slavic and Hungarian folk forms influenced Austrian music.

Vienna's status began its rise as a cultural center in the early 16th century, and was focused around instruments including the lute. Ludwig van Beethoven spent the better part of his life in Vienna. Austria's current national anthem, attributed to Mozart, was chosen after World War II to replace the traditional Austrian anthem by Joseph Haydn.

Austria has also produced one notable jazz musician, keyboardist Josef Zawinul, who helped pioneer electronic influences in jazz as well as being a notable composer in his own right. The pop and rock musician Falco was internationally acclaimed during the 1980s, especially for his song "Rock Me Amadeus" dedicated to Mozart. The drummer Thomas Lang was born in Vienna in 1967 and is now world renowned for his technical ability, having played with artists such as Geri Halliwell and Robbie Williams.

Art and architecture

Abteiberg Museum,  Germany, 1982 , HansHollein
Among Austrian Artists and architects one can find the painters Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Rudolf von Alt, Hans Makart, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Carl Moll, and Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the photographers Inge Morath and Ernst Haas, and architects like Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, and Hans Hollein (recipient of the 1985 Pritzker Architecture Prize). The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honour "a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture". Founded in 1979 by Jay A. Pritzker and his wife Cindy, the award is funded by the Pritzker family and sponsored by the Hyatt Foundation and is considered to be one of the world's premier architecture prizes; it is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture.

Cinema and theatre

Austrian contributions to the worlds of film and theatre have traditionally been strong. Sascha Kolowrat was an Austrian pioneer of filmmaking. Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Josef von Sternberg, and Fred Zinnemann originally came from Austria before establishing themselves as internationally relevant movie makers. Willi Forst, Ernst Marischka, or Franz Antel enriched the popular cinema in German language speaking countries. Michael Haneke became internationally known for his disturbing cinematic studies, before receiving a Golden Globe for his critically acclaimed film The White Ribbon in 2010.

The first Austrian film director receiving an Academy Award was Stefan Ruzowitzky. Many Austrian actors were able to pursue a career, the impact of which was sensed beyond national borders. Among them were Peter Lorre, Helmut Berger, Curd Jürgens, Senta Berger, Oskar Werner, and Klaus Maria Brandauer. Hedy Lamarr and Arnold Schwarzenegger became American as well as international movie stars. Christoph Waltz rose to international fame with his performance in Inglourious Basterds, earning the Best Actor Award at Cannes in 2009, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2010. Max Reinhardt was a master of spectacular and astute theater productions. Otto Schenk not only excelled as a stage actor, but also as an opera director.

Science and philosophy

Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis
Austria was the cradle of numerous scientists with international reputation. Among them are Ludwig Boltzmann, Ernst Mach, Victor Franz Hess and Christian Doppler, prominent scientists in the 19th century. In the 20th century, contributions by Lise Meitner, Erwin Schrödinger and Wolfgang Pauli to nuclear research and quantum mechanics were key to these areas' development during the 1920s and 1930s. A present-day quantum physicist is Anton Zeilinger, noted as the first scientist to demonstrate quantum teleportation.

In addition to physicists, Austria was the birthplace of two of the most noteworthy philosophers of the 20th century, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper. In addition to them, biologists Gregor Mendel and Konrad Lorenz as well as mathematician Kurt Gödel and engineers such as Ferdinand Porsche and Siegfried Marcus were Austrians.

A focus of Austrian science has always been medicine and psychology, starting in medieval times with Paracelsus. Eminent physicians like Theodore Billroth, Clemens von Pirquet, and Anton von Eiselsberg have built upon the achievements of the 19th century Vienna School of Medicine. Austria was home to psychologists Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Paul Watzlawick and Hans Asperger and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl.

The Austrian School of Economics, which is prominent as one of the main competitive directions for economic theory, is related to Austrian economists Joseph Schumpeter, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich Hayek. Other noteworthy Austrian-born émigrés include the management thinker Peter Drucker, sociologist Paul Felix Lazarsfeld scientist Sir Gustav Nossal and the 38th Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Complementing its status as a land of artists and scientists, Austria has always been a country of poets, writers, and novelists. It was the home of novelists Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Thomas Bernhard, Franz Kafka, and Robert Musil, of poets Georg Trakl, Franz Werfel, Franz Grillparzer, Rainer Maria Rilke, Adalbert Stifter, Karl Kraus and children's author Eva Ibbotson. Famous contemporary playwrights and novelists are Nobel prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke and Daniel Kehlmann.

Food and beverages

Popular Austrian Cuisine, Wiener Schnitzel
Austria's cuisine is derived from that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austrian cuisine is mainly the tradition of Royal-Cuisine ("Hofküche") delivered over centuries. It is famous for its well-balanced variations of beef and pork and countless variations of vegetables. There is also the "Mehlspeisen" Bakery, which created particular delicacies such as Sachertorte, "Krapfen" which are doughnuts usually filled with apricot jam or custard, and "Strudel" such as "Apfelstrudel" filled with apple, "Topfenstrudel" filled with a type of cheese curd called "topfen", and "Millirahmstrudel" (milk-cream strudel).

In addition to native regional traditions, the cuisine has been influenced by Hungarian, Bohemia Czech, Jewish, Italian, Balkan and French cuisine, from which both dishes and methods of food preparation have often been borrowed. The Austrian cuisine is therefore one of the most multicultural and transcultural in Europe.

Typical Austrian dishes include Wiener Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten, Kaiserschmarren, Knödel, Sachertorte and Tafelspitz. There are also Kärntner Kasnudeln, which are pockets of dough filled with Topfen, potatoes, herbs and peppermint which are boiled and served with a butter sauce. Kasnudeln are traditionally served with a salad. Eierschwammerl dishes are also popular. The "Eierschwammerl", also known as "Pfifferling", are native yellow, tan mushrooms. The candy Pez was invented in Austria, as well as Mannerschnitten. Austria is also famous for its Mozartkugeln and its coffee tradition.

Beer is sold in 0.2 litre (a Pfiff), 0.3 litre (a Seidel, kleines Bier or Glas Bier) and 0.5 litre (a Krügerl or großes Bier or Halbe) measures. At festivals one litre Maß and two litre Doppelmaß in the Bavarian style are also dispensed. The most popular types of beer are lager (known as Märzen in Austria), naturally cloudy Zwicklbier and wheat beer. At holidays like Christmas and Easter bock beer is also available.

The most important wine-producing areas are in Lower Austria, Burgenland, Styria and Vienna. The Grüner Veltliner grape provides some of Austria's most notable white wines and Zweigelt is the most widely planted red wine grape.

In Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia, Most, a type of cider or perry is widely produced.
Schnapps of typically up to 60 % alcohol or fruit brandy is drunk, which in Austria is made from a variety of fruits, for example apricots and rowanberries. The produce of small private schnapps distilleries, of which there are around 20,000 in Austria, is known as Selbstgebrannter or Hausbrand.


alpine skiing in the Alps
Due to the mountainous terrain, alpine skiing is a prominent sport in Austria. Similar sports such as snowboarding or ski-jumping are also widely popular and Austrian athletes such as Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Franz Klammer, Hermann Maier, Toni Sailer, Benjamin Raich and Marlies Schild are widely regarded as some of the greatest alpine skiers of all time.

A popular team sport in Austria is football, which is governed by the Austrian Football Association. Austria was among the most successful football playing nations on the European continent placing 4th at the 1934 FIFA World Cup, 3rd at the 1954 FIFA World Cup and 7th at the 1978 FIFA World Cup. However, recently Austrian football has been much less internationally successful in this discipline. It also co-hosted the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship with Switzerland. The national Austrian football league is the Austrian Bundesliga, which includes teams such as record-champions SK Rapid Wien, FK Austria Wien, Red Bull Salzburg and Sturm Graz.

Besides football, Austria also has professional national leagues for most major team sports including the Austrian Hockey League for ice hockey, and the Österreichische Basketball Bundesliga for basketball. Bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton are also popular events with a permanent track located in Igls, which hosted bobsleigh and luge competitions for the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics held in Innsbruck. 

Innsbruck, host city 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games 2012
The 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, officially known as the I Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), were an international multi-sport event for youths, ages 14 to 19, that took place in Innsbruck, from 13 to 22 January 2012. They were the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics, a major sports and cultural festival celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games. Approximately 1100 athletes from 70 countries competed. The decision for Innsbruck to host the Games was announced on 12 December, 2008 after mail voting by 105 International Olympic Committee (IOC) members. Innsbruck is the first city to host three winter Olympic events, having previously hosted the 1964 Winter Olympics and the 1976 Winter Olympics.


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