Austria is a nation in Central Europe. It borders Liechtenstein and Switzerland to the west, Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, and Italy and Slovenia to the south. The capital and largest city of Austria is Vienna.


Austria was a part of the Roman Empire. After its fall, Austria was conquered by the Franks. Austria became a part of East Francia after the Treaty of Verdun in 843, and became a separate kingdom shortly after.

During the Middle Ages, Austria was one of the most powerful states in the Holy Roman Empire. Many Holy Roman Emperors came from Austria. In the 1500s, the Habsburg dynasty brought Austria to greatness. Austria and Spain, both Habsburg powers, entered into a long alliance. Austria was badly defeated by Prussia in the Seven Years' War.

Austria opposed Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. The French army dealt her a heavy defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Austria and Prussia became rivals for control of Germany. The Six Weeks' War in 1866 confirmed Prussia's dominance, and Austria reorganized herself to become Austria-Hungary.

Austria-Hungary was one of the Central Powers in World War I. They fought mostly against the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. The army fought poorly on both fronts, due to nationalist tensions and significant linguistic differences. Austria-Hungary was disbanded afterwards, and Austria lost most of her international influence. Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. After World War II, Austria was governed by the Allied Powers until 1956.


The Alps run through the western part of Austria. They support Austria's economy in the form of tourism. Austria is entirely landlocked, having lost its coastline to Italy in the 19th century. The Danube River flows through the north of the country, including the capital, Vienna.

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