The Republic of Austria (or Austria of Latin origin Österreich in German or Republik Österreich in German: Ostarrîchi, meaning “Eastern Empire”) is a federal state in Central Europe. It is bordered on the north by Germany and the Czech Republic, on the east by Slovakia and Hungary, on the south by Slovenia and Italy, and on the west by Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
On May 15, 1955, the state treaty was signed in Vienna, in which the country regained its sovereignty. After the occupation of the occupiers, the hereditary neutrality of Austria was enshrined in the constitution. The state treaty provided an opportunity for Austria to go its own way as an independent, neutral state.
The country has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and of the European Union since 1995. Other memberships: WTO, Partnership for Peace, WEU, OSCE, IMF, OECD. It signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995 and introduced the euro as its currency in 1999.
Austria is located in the southern part of Central Europe, along the upper Danube. Half of its territory is dominated by high mountains, a third by medium mountains and only a fifth by basins and the lower hills.
There are five regions in Austria:
Vienna Basin: In the area of the Vienna Basin, surrounded by the northern limestone mountains of the Carpathians and the Eastern Alps, the deep-seated ancient crystalline rocks are covered by medieval and Tertiary marine sediments. Its southern border is the hilly landscape of the Wechselgebiet and the Bucklige Welt, and the Steinfeld. The Danube divides the landscape into an agricultural area in the north and an industrial area in the south.
Austrian Granite Plateau: The area north of the Danube is occupied by the southern part of the Czech Massif, the Austrian Granite Plateau, which consists of ancient crystalline rocks (granite, gneiss). It stretches south to the line of the Danube, crossing it in places. Forests with an average altitude of 300–600 m alternate with fertile agricultural landscapes. Its two well-known regions are the Weinviertel, home to wines, and the Waldviertel, a region of forests. Between the Danube and the March lies the Moravian Field, or Marchfeld. The southern part of the landscape is lined with breakthroughs from the Danube Valley, the Passau Valley, the Wachau, the Nibelungengau and the Strundengau.
North Burgenland tortoise: a landscape directly connected to the Alps, here lies the draining Lake Neusiedl, surrounded by small saline lakes.
Eastern Alps: Austria's largest landscape, characterized by wide and proportionate west-east strike ranges. The Eastern Alps consist of several zones:
The northern sedimentary zone is the Northern Limestone Alps, which includes the Lech Valley Alps, the Allgäu Alps, the North Tyrolean Alps, the Salzburg Alps and the Styrian-Lower Austrian-Limestone Alps.
The central crystalline zone is the Central Alps, which include the Silvretta, the Ötz Valley Alps, the Stubai Alps, the Ziller Valley Alps, the High Tauern, the Low Tauern and the Gurk Valley Alps.
To the south of the crystalline zone is the Southern Limestone Alps, which include the Gailtal Alps, the Carni Alps and the Karavanke Mountains.
Pre-Alps and Eastern Styria: The alpine ranges are accompanied by tertiary hills from the north. This is the Pre-Alps. The moraine cover deposited by the former glaciers was torn up by the tributaries of the Danube into undulating hills. Between the central crystalline line and the southern limestone zone is the Klagenfurt Basin, rich in lakes swollen by moraine from the recent ice age, and the Graz Basin, covered in Tertiary sediments. This region has been transformed into diverse hills by the Rába, Mura and Drava. Highest point: Großglockner (3798 m, Hohe Tauern, Central Alps)
Lowest point: Lake Neusiedl (115 m)