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Research paper example essay prompt: Austria - 1042 words

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Austria Austria Austria is the republic in central Europe. It is about 360 miles long and has an area of about 32,378 square miles. Vienna is the countrys capital and largest city. Austria is predominantly a mountainous country, with an average elevation of about 3000 feet. Most of the land falls within the eastern part of the Alps.

In general the major mountain ranges of Austria run in an eastern-western direction and are separated from one another by large valleys. The northernmost line of ranges includes the North Tirol Alps and the Salzburg Alps. Among the central range is the Hohe Tauern, which tops in the Grossglockner, the highest elevation in the country. The Pasterze Glacier, one of Europes largest, descends from the Grossglockner peak. The southernmost ranges include the tztal Alps, the Zillertaler Alps, the Carnic Alps, and the Karawanken Mountains.

Besides these eastern-western ranges, several series of mountain extend in a northern-southern direction. The mountain barriers of Austria are broken in many places by passes, including the Brenner Pass and the Semmering Pass. The principal river is the Danube, which enters Austria at Passau on the German border. Austrian tributaries of the Danube include the Inn, Traun, Enns, and Ybbs rivers. In the south, important rivers are the Mur and the Mrz.

In addition to the rivers, the hydrographic system of the country includes numerous lakes, Bodensee, and Neusiedler Lake in Burgenland. The lake is the countrys lowest elevation point. The Austrian climate varies with altitude. Mountainous regions are subject to moderate Atlantic conditions and experience more precipitation than the eastern lowlands. Spring and fall are usually mild throughout the country.

Summers are short with moderate temperatures. Cold and often severe winters last about three months in the valleys. The foehn is important to Austrias agricultural production, allowing for early cultivation of the southern valleys. Average annual temperatures range between about 44 and 48 F throughout the country. Average annual rainfall is about 26 inches in Vienna and about 34 inches in Innsbruck. In some interior valleys, the average annual rainfall is between about 60 and 80 inches. Austria has large deposits of iron ore, lignite, magnesite, petroleum, and natural gas and is a prime world agent of high-grade graphite. Some small deposits of bituminous coal have been mined, as well as lead, zinc, copper, kaolin, gypsum, mica, quartz, salt, bauxite, antimony, and talc. Deciduous trees, mainly beech, oak, and birch, are predominant in the lower altitudes.

Spruce, fir, larch, Austrian black pine, and stone pine extend to the timberline. The higher altitudes have a very brief season during which alpine plants, including edelweiss, gentians, primroses, buttercups, and monkshoods, come into brilliant flower. Wildlife is generally scarce in Austria. Chamois, deer, and marmot are still represented; bear, which were once abundant, are now almost completely absent. Hunting is strictly regulated to protect the remaining species. The Austrian people are German-speaking, but the country has a varied ethnic mixturea legacy from the time of the multinational Habsburg Austria.

About 96 percent of the population is ethnic Austrian. Minority groups include Croats and Hungarians, Slovenes,Czechs, as well as small numbers of Italians, Serbs, and Romanians. A large amount of refugees in the years following World War II increased their numbers, and new groups, such as the Turks, were added. According to the 1991 census, Austria had a population of 7,795,786. The 1996 estimated population was about 8,023,244, giving the country an overall population density of about 248 people per square mile.

About 61 percent of the population is urban, with more than one-quarter of the people living in the five largest cities: Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. Austria is divided into nine federal provinces: Burgenland, Krnten, Niedersterreich, Salzburg, Steiermark , Tirol, Obersterreich, Vienna, and Vorarlberg. Roman Catholicism is the religion of about 78 percent of the population of Austria. Reformed Lutherans and various other Christian denominations account for 8 percent, and Muslims make up 2 percent. Those without a religion or whose faith is unknown constitute 12 percent of the population.

German is the official language of Austria. About 2 percent of the population speak languages other than German, mainly Croatian, Slovenian, Czech, and Turkish. The basis of the Austrian educational system is the national law that requires school attendance for all youths between the ages of 6 and 15. Austrias long tradition of free education dates from the Educational Reform Act of 1774, instituted by the Empress Maria Theresa. This law, which was expanded in 1867 and again in 1962, largely accounts for the fact that virtually all of the adult population is able to read and write. During the 20th century, Austria has received international recognition for the high quality of its medical training. In the arts it has sought new approaches to the awakening of students creative interests, especially in the field of art education under the leadership of Franz Cizek. In many aspects, Austrian schools were among the first anywhere to be marked by a general trend toward progressive education.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Vienna was a world center of culture, particularly in music and literature. Austrian fine art usually is considered with the art of southern Germany. A distinctive Austrian style is manifested in the refined baroque architecture and sculpture of the 17th and 18th centuries, notably in Vienna, Salzburg, and Melk. The largest of the 2400 libraries in Austria is the National Library, founded in 1526. Important research collections are housed in the various universities, in several old monasteries, and in a number of scientific libraries. The collection of the former royal house contains state papers dating from 816; collections of the Holy Roman Empire dating from 1555; and documents concerning the history of the Austrian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and the period since 1918.The art and natural science museums of Vienna are internationally known, as are many individual collections. The Kunsthistorisches Museum is famous for its paintings by members of the Brueghel family and for the works of Dutch, Italian, and German painters.

The Albertina collection of prints and drawings, the collections of jewelry and relics of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Gallery, the technical museum, and the museum for folklore and ethnography are all well known. Salzburg, birthplace of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, has several museums housing collections of his manuscripts and memorabilia, including one in the house where he was born. The Austrian economy is based on a ...

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Research paper topics, free essay prompts, sample research papers on Austria