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Culture of Austria

"Österreich" means "eastern realm" in English. The name derives from the Old German "Ostarrichi". Translating from Latin to English the term means "eastern border", as the country was situated in the eastern edge of the Roman Empire. It was also called "Ostmark", after Anschluss the Third Reich. Translating from Old German to Latin "Aust-" meant east, the term "Austria" and the name of its inhabitants came from this derivation.

Austria has always been famous for novelists, poets and writers. Here is a list with the most famous persons of Austrian literature:

  • Franz Grillparzer - the greatest Austrian playwright of the 19th century
  • Ferdinand Raimund - playwright and actor of the 19th century
  • Johann Nestroy - leading playwright of the Austrian Biedermeier, he was called as the Austrian Shakespeare
  • Arthur Schnitzler - famous writer and inventor of the stream of consciousness technique
  • Felix Salten - journalist and critic, he wrote the story of Bambi
  • Ingeborg Bachmann - writer and poet of the 20th century
  • Peter Handke - contemporary writer and journalist
  • Elfriede Jelinek - contemporary writer and playwright

Austria was the musical center of Europe in the 18th centruy. The most famous composers were: Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn.

Most popular kinds of music:

  • Schrammelmusik - played with an accordion and double necked guitar, derives from Vienna
  • Alpunk - originated in the Alpine regions of Austria
  • Ländler - folk dance
  • Yodeling - throat singing, originates in the Alps
  • Walz - folk dance, it became famous in the classicism

We can find plenty of castles, cathedrals and palaces. Most of the castles were built during the Habsburg reign.
Castles - Castle Liechtenstein, Burg Hohenwerfen
Cathedrals - Minoritenkirche (the oldest) and Stephansdom (one of the highest) in Vienna
Palaces - Schönbrunn, Belvedere
Abbey - Melk abbey
Other - Semmering Railway


During the last 10 years the craft market which takes place in front of Vienna's impressive Karlskirche has become known for its excellent quality craft work. The baroque architecture of the church bestows upon the surrounding park grounds a congenial atmosphere.

Many Viennese shops sell delightful local crafts that can serve as wonderful gifts for family and friends. Among these gifts are hand-painted porcelain, ceramics, handmade dolls, wrought-iron work, petit-point needlework, knitwear, down quilts, wood-carvings, and leather goods. Porcelain from the manufacturer Augarten, is especially famous from Vienna and should be considered as a gift for someone special. Glass and crystal items from the same organization that adorned the royal palaces of Austria, and continue to inhabit the likes of the Kremlin and the King's Palace in Saudi Arabia can be purchased at J&R Lobmeyr.

Austria cuisine

Wiener Schnitzel: this austrian speciality is originating from the Italian "costoletta milanese" -breadcrumbed and fried veal escalope.

Erdäpfel salat: it is made from potatoes, served especially for Wiener Schnitzel.

Kaiserschmarrn: this dessert is made from shredded pancake and stewed fruits.

Apfelstrudel: this is a very delicious dessert, it is made from thin rolled dough filled by apple.

Typical drinks in Austria: the national drink is beer like in Germany, but there is a huge range of excellent wines as well, especially white wines are very popular in Austria: Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Muskateller etc.




Austria information

Basic facts Basic facts
Travel to Austria Travel to Austria
Money, prices and costs Money, prices and costs
Travel inside Austria Travel inside Austria
Austria map Austria map
Climate and weather in Austria Climate and weather in Austria
Geography of Austria Geography of Austria
History of Austria History of Austria
Culture Culture
Other tourist information Other tourist information
List of Embassies in Austria List of Embassies in Austria
Route Planner Austria Route Planner
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