Austria is the only European Union nation that is not a member of NATO.
Austro-Hungarian Baroness Bertha von Suttner was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905.
When the Turks fled the city of Vienna in 1683, they left behind a large quantity of coffee beans, thereby launching the great Viennese tradition of the Kaffeehaus (coffee house). Since the 19th century, the coffee house has been an indispensable social part of Viennese middle class and intellectual life.
Founded in 1752 as an animal menagerie by Emperor Franz Stephan, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Tiergarten is the oldest zoo in the world.
Death in Austria is big business, and the Austrian funeral industry is said to be largest per capita in Europe. Austrians plan quite openly for their eventual demise, discussing reserving burial plots, designing headstones, and joining Sterbeverein (“Death Association”) that ensures someone eventually shows up and pays the final bill. Coming back from an Austrian funeral, one is sure to hear that there was ein schöne Leiche (“a beautiful corpse”
Austrian film directors Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann played an important role in the creation of Hollywood shortly before and after World War II.
There is a distinct possibility that Adolf Hitler was related to the Jews he tried to exterminate during the Holocaust. Samples of saliva taken from 39 relatives of Austrian-born Hitler in 2010 showed that he had a chromosome Haplogroup E1B1B1, which is commonly found in the Berbers of
Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia as well as in Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews. It is one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.
Vienna’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) is famous for rejecting a young painter by the name of Adolf Hitler. Of the 128 applicants that applied in 1907, Hitler was one of the 100 who failed. His entrance exam themes included “Expulsion from Paradise,” “Building Workers,” and “Death.”r
When Emperor Maximilian I founded the Vienna Boys’ Choir in 1498, he replaced castrati with young boys whose voices had not yet broken, creating one of the world’s most celebrated choirs.
The magic words for wine drinkers in Vienna are ein Achtel (an eighth of a liter), which is the most common serving size in Vienna.
During World War II in Austria, the numbers 0 5, painted on a wall or door, marked the symbol of Austria’s resistance during the Nazi Anschluss.
Before starting to eat, Austrians say “Guten Appetit!” and before starting to drink, they toast by clinking glasses while looking the other person in the eye, because to not make eye contact is rude and is said to bring upon oneself seven years of bad sex.
The bodies of the Hapsburg Emperors were not buried like other people in one place but at three different burial sites. Since the House of Hapsburg ruled in Austria for so long—1278 to 1918—it became custom to keep only copper urns with their intestines in St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Their actual bodies were buried in the Imperial Vault at the Kapuzinerkirche (Capuchin Church), while their hearts were buried at the Augustinerkirche (Church of the Augustinians). Emperor Rudolph was the first Hapsburg Emperor buried in the vault at St. Stephan’s.
Viennese psychiatrist Sigmund Freud is best known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, which has heavily influenced modern psychology as well as other domains of science and culture. He died in exile in London in 1939.
Vienna is also known as “The City of Dreams” because it was home to the world’s first psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud
The design of the first sewing machine dates back to 18th-century English tailor Thomas Saint. However, in 1814, Austrian tailor Josef Madersperger of Vienna was granted the first patent on a design for a sewing machine he had been working on for nearly a decade.
Beloved Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria suffered potentially from anorexia. Even after becoming a great-grandmother at the age of 57, Sisi became more than ever preoccupied with her slenderness and put herself on a milk diet and exercised daily to keep her weight under 110 lbs. (50 kilos).
Born in Salzburg, physicist Christian Doppler is most famous for his discovery of the “Doppler effect,” how the observed frequency of sound and light waves is affected by the relative motion of the source and detector. The Doppler radar that most meteorologists use today worldwide relies on the Doppler Effect.
In 1929, the system of Mach numbers for speed was introduced, named after Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, commemorating Mach’s 1887 discovery that air flow changes dramatically above the speed of sound.
Interesting Austria Clothes Fact
In Austria, the Tracht, or traditional folk costume, is accepted as formal wear and can be worn even to an elegant ball at the Viennese Opera. Men wear green Loden jackets and Lederhosen (leather breeches), and women wear Dirndl dresses.
One of the world’s best-known Austrians is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in the Terminator and Predator action film series, among others; was governor of California from 2003-2010; and is a member of the Kennedy clan by marriage.
Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk who became famous for his garden experiments with pea plants. His experiments became the basis for the science of modern genetics, and he is known as the “father of modern genetics.
Born in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy and supposedly had the gift of a perfect memory. At age 6, he performed for the Empress Maria Theresa at Schönbrunn Palace and composed some of the most enduring classical compositions in musical history including:
The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, and many symphonies and masses—including the unfinished masterwork Requiem, which is still shrouded in mystery. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in St. Mark’s Cemetery in Vienna, and his remains were never identified
Austrian artist Egon Schiele was controversial in his own time. In 1912, he was held in custody for three weeks and later found guilty of corrupting minors with his erotic paintings and drawings. At one stage, he fled Austria for Bohemia with his 17-year-old model and lover Walburga “Wally” Neuzil to escape a furor.
Katharina Schratt (1855–1940) was a noted actress who became the most famous courtesan of the 19th-century German-speaking world, when she became the mistress of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1885.