Austria is comparable with Hokkaido’s climate and area.
60 % of the country lies in the Alps region. Austria shares its border with 8 countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Republic of Austria consists of nine states. Vienna as the capital is one of them. Austria became a member of the European Union in 1995.aus_map_2

Area  83,871 km²
Population  8.308.906 (April 2007)
Capital  Vienna
Language  German
Currency  Euro
Time zone  UTC+1 CET, UTC+2 CEST

There are many landmarks in music, art and castles, especially in Vienna. In particular, Austrians are proud of its beautiful nature in the Alps. Numerous lakes are scattered on the Alps plateau which beauty is unique in Europe.

The Habsburgs and cake

From the 15th to the 18th century all emperors of the Holy Roman Empire belonged to the House of Habsburg. In an almost continuous succession the Habsburgs wore the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire. The House of Habsburg flourished not only through its political expertise and marriage policy but also it showed great pleasure in music and food. Franz Josef I. was a cake lover who often visited cafes.

The Croissant and the crescent

The Croissant (French for crescent) is strongly associated with France. Though the Croissant originates from Vienna. In the 17th century Vienna was besieged of the Turks. A Turks’ attack failed because Vienna’s bakers, who already worked in the early morning hours, noticed the Turks and raised the alarm. To honor the victory over the Turks the Croissant was created for the celebration that had the form of the Turkish crescent. Marie Antoinette, the wife of Ludwig XVI introduced the Croissant to France.

Click here for more information about Austria→Austrian Embassy(http://www.austria.or.jp/