Austria Cities with Hotels
Austria (German Ã–sterreich), republic in central Europe, bounded on the north by the Czech Republic; on the northeast by Slovakia; on the east by Hungary; on the south by Slovenia, Italy, and Switzerland; and on the west by Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Germany. Austria is about 580 km (about 360 mi) long and has an area of 83,859 sq km (32,378 sq mi). Vienna, (Wien) is the country's capital and largest city.
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Land and Resources
Austria is predominantly a mountainous country, with an
average elevation of about 910 m (about 3000 ft). Most of the land falls
within the eastern division of the Alps. In general the major mountain
ranges of Austria run in an eastern-western direction and are separated from
one another by rather broad valleys. The northernmost line of ranges
includes the North Tirol Alps and the Salzburg Alps. Among the central
ranges is the Hohe Tauern, which culminates in the Grossglockner, the
highest elevation (3797 m/12,457 ft) in the country; the Pasterze Glacier,
one of Europe's largest, descends from the Grossglockner peak. The
southernmost ranges include the Ã–tztal Alps, the Zillertal Alps, the Carnic
Alps, and the Karawanken Mountains. Besides these eastern-western ranges,
several series of mountain spurs 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 areas of Austria that are not within the Alps
are the northern and eastern border sections. The northern section consists
of rolling upland, and the eastern border section comprises part of the
Danube Basin, including Vienna.
The principal river is the Danube, which enters Austria at
Passau on the German border; it continues its southeastern course, past Linz
and Vienna, to Bratislava on the Slovakian border. Austrian tributaries of
the Danube include the Inn (forming part of Austria's German border), Traun,
Enns, and Ybbs rivers. In the south, important rivers are the Mur and the
MÃ¼rz. In addition to the rivers, the hydrographic system of the country
includes numerous lakes, notably Lake of Constance (Bodensee), forming the
western border with Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and Neusiedler Lake in
Burgenland, near Hungary. The lake is the country's lowest elevation point
(115 m/377 ft).
The Austrian climate varies with altitude; with location in
relation to Atlantic, continental, and Mediterranean influences; and with
certain local wind characteristics. Mountainous regions are partially
subject to moderate Atlantic conditions and experience more precipitation
than the eastern lowlands, which are under continental influences. 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, where they are usually ended by the foehn, a warm, dry wind
from the south that is often accompanied by damp fog and sudden thaws that
precipitate avalanches. The foehn is important to Austria's agricultural
production, allowing for early cultivation of the southern valleys. Average
annual temperatures range between about 7Â° and 9Â° C (about 44Â° and 48Â° F)
throughout the country. Average annual rainfall is about 660 mm (about 26
in) in Vienna and 870 mm (about 34 in) in Innsbruck. In some interior
valleys, the average annual rainfall is between about 1520 and 2030 mm
(about 60 and 80 in).
"Austria," MicrosoftÂ® EncartaÂ® 97 Encyclopedia.
Â© 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
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January 15, 2010 02:54 PM.