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Like most European countries, Austria looks back on a very eventful history. Yet there are some elements of the Austrian character that haven’t changed much over the centuries: the partiality for indulgence, beauty, and cultivation have always been driving forces in the country’s past and present…
The Early Days
The area of today’s Austria, that is the fertile Danube Valley and the Alpine valleys, were already settled in the Paleolithic Age (until approx. 8000 BC). Around 400 BC, Celtic peoples from Western Europe settled in the eastern Alps. A Celtic state, Noricum, developed around the region’s ironworks in the second century BC. From the 7th century BC onwards one of the main regions of Celtic occupation was in modern-day Austria, centered around Hallstatt, a large prehistoric salt-mining area. The Hallstatt period, 750 – c.450 BC, is named after this region.
From Ostarrichi to Austria
By the latter half of the second century AD, various German tribes were extending their territory making devastating incursions into Roman territories. By the mid-500s, the Bavarians controlled the territory between the eastern Alps and the Wienerwald region. Around 800 Charlemagne, the king of Franks and eventually Holy Roman Emperor, established a territory in the Danube valley known as the Ostmark (Eastern March). In 996 the Ostmark was first referred to as “Ostarrichi”, a clear forerunner of the modern German word “Österreich”.
Turkish Wars
The Turkish threat, which included unsuccessful sieges of Vienna in 1529 and in 1683, prompted Poland, Venice, and Russia to join the Habsburg Empire in repelling the Turks. In the late 1690s, command of the imperial forces was entrusted to Prince Eugene of Savoy. Under his leadership, Habsburg forces won control of all but a small portion of Hungary by 1699.
The 21st Century
On May 15, 1955, the Austrian State Treaty was ratified, with Austria declaring its permanent neutrality. Thanks to its location near the “Iron Curtain”, Austria soon developed into a nerve center between the West and the East. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the 1968 Prague Spring Invasion, Austria grants asylum to the refugees. Austria is also host country of many international organizations (UNO, OPEC) as well as host of many important conference and summit meetings. The Iron Curtain fell in 1989/90; in 1995 Austria becomes a member of the European Union.

VIENNA ESCAPADE

3N/4D
  • Ringstrasse Boulevard
  • City Tour
  • Schonbrunn Palace

EXQUISITE SALSBURG

3N/4D
  • City Tour
  • Mozarts Birthplace
  • Mirabel Palace
  • Doppler House
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