Portal:Austria

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The Austria Portal

Topographical map of Austria

Austria is located in the heart of Europe. It is bordered to the north by Czechia and Germany, to the south by Slovenia and Italy, to the west by Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and to the east by Hungary and Slovakia. Its capital city is Vienna.

The origins of modern Austria date back to the ninth century, when the countryside of upper and lower Austria became increasingly populated. The name of Austria Ostarrîchi is first documented in an official document from 996. Since then this word has developed into the German word Österreich.

Austria's political system is that of a federal, parliamentary representative democracy consisting of nine states. It is one of six European countries that have declared permanent neutrality and one of the few countries that includes the concept of everlasting neutrality in their constitution. It is one of Europe's leading industrialised countries,

Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995. It also a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, whose headquarters is based in Vienna.

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Eggenberg Castle

Eggenberg Castle (German: Schloss Eggenberg) in Graz is the most significant Baroque palace complex in Styria. With its preserved accouterments, the extensive scenic gardens as well as some additional collections from the Universalmuseum Joanneum housed in the palace and park, Eggenberg Castle counts among the most valuable cultural assets of Austria. With its construction and accouterment history, it exhibits the vicissitude and patronage of the one-time mightiest dynasty in Styria, the House of Eggenberg. In 2010, Eggenberg Castle was recognized for its significance to cultural history in an expansion to the listing of the Graz Historic Old Town among UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.

The palace lies on the western edge of the Styrian capital of Graz in the Eggenberg district. The northern corner of the palace grounds features the Planetary Garden and Lapidarium of Roman stonework as well as the entrance to the new Archeological Museum, which houses the Cult Wagon of Strettweg. The numismatic collection, located in the former rooms of Balthasar Eggenberger, owner of the imperial minting license and operations in the Late Middle Ages, and the show collection of the Alte Galerie, a collection of medieval through early modern period artworks spanning five centuries of European art history are also housed in the palace itself.

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Viktor Kaplan

Viktor Kaplan (November 27, 1876 – August 23, 1934) was an engineer and the inventor of the Kaplan turbine.

After working in Vienna with a specialisation in motors, he moved to the German Technical University in Brno to conduct research at the institute of civil engineering. He spent the next three decades of his life in Brno.

In 1912 he published his most notable work: the Kaplan turbine, a revolutionary water turbine that was especially fitted to produce electricity from large streams with only a moderate incline. From 1912 to 1913 he received four patents on these kinds of turbines.

In 1913 he was appointed head of the institute for water turbines. In 1918 Kaplan turbines were first built by the Storek construction company for a textile manufacturer in Lower Austria. After the success of the first Kaplan turbines, they started being used worldwide and today remain one of the most widely used kinds of water turbines.

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Did you know...

  • ... that the first record showing the name "Austria" is from 996 where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March?
  • ... that Austria currently produces more than half of its electricity by hydropower?

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