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Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel © Österreich Werbung/Mayer

© Österreich Werbung/Mayer

A brief overview of Austria's history.

In the year 996, a document from Emperor Otto III contained the name 'Ostarrichi' , from which came 'Österreich', the local name of Austria today. The country was ruled by the Habsburgs since 1273, who extended the country's borders and influence through marriage and inheritance.

Emperor Franz I. established the Austrian empire in 1804, but just two years later he was forced to relinquish his position as "Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation" and cede territory, following Napolean's occupation of Austria.

The so-called "Double-monarchy" of Austria and Hungary was established in 1867 as a union of two independent states under a common ruler (Franz Joseph I.).

The end of the First World War saw the declaration of the First Republic in 1918 and the end of the monarchy.

In 1938 Austria was renamed "Ostmark", when it became a part of National Socialist Germany and stopped being an independent state.

Austria was occupied by the Allies after the Second World War, regaining its sovereignty with the State Treaty of 1955.

Since 1st January 1995 Austria has been a member of the European Union.