|German name: Österreich a republic in central Europe: ruled by the Hapsburgs from 1282 to 1918; formed a dual monarchy with Hungary in 1867 and became a republic in 1919; a member of the European Union; contains part of the Alps, the Danube basin in the east, and extensive forests. Official language: German. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Vienna. Pop: 8 120 000 (2004 est). Area: 83 849 sq km (32 374 sq miles)|
Mountainous republic in central Europe, bordered by Germany and the former Czechoslovakia to the north, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Its capital and largest city is Vienna.
Note: Under the Hapsburg dynasty (1278–1918), Austria maintained control of the Holy Roman Empire and became a leading player in European politics.
Note: After losing control of the German portions of the Holy Roman Empire in the nineteenth century, Austria joined with Hungary to create the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918). Allied with Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey in World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was devastated by the war.
Note: Austria was occupied by Nazi forces in 1938 and annexed by Adolf Hitler to Germany. It was reestablished as a republic in 1945 but remained occupied by four Allied powers until it declared neutrality in 1955.
Note: The picturesque Tyrol region, in the western part of the country, is a favorite year-round tourist spot.