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Austria - Culture Overview

Austria

Literature
Austria has always been famous for novelists, poets and writers.

Most famous persons of Austria literature:
  • Franz Grillparzer - the greatest Austrian playwright of the 19th century
  • Ferdinand Raimund - playwright and actor of the 19th century
  • Johann Nestroy - leading playwright of the Austrian Biedermeier, he was called as the Austrian Shakespeare
  • Arthur Schnitzler - famous writer and inventor of the stream of consciousness technique
  • Felix Salten - journalist and critic, he wrote the story of Bambi
  • Ingeborg Bachmann - writer and poet of the 20th century
  • Peter Handke - contemporary writer and journalist
  • Elfriede Jelinek - contemporary writer and playwright

Music
Austria was the musical center of Europe in the 18th centruy. The most famous composers were: Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn.

Most popular kinds of music:
  • Schrammelmusik - played with an accordion and double necked guitar, derives from Vienna
  • Alpunk - originated in the Alpine regions of Austria
  • Ländler - folk dance
  • Yodeling - throat singing, originates in the Alps
  • Walz - folk dance, it became famous in the classicism

Architecture
We can find plenty of castles, cathedrals and palaces. Most of the castles were built during the Habsburg reign.

  • Castles - Castle Liechtenstein, Burg Hohenwerfen
  • Cathedrals - Minoritenkirche (the oldest) and Stephansdom (one of the highest) in Vienna
  • Palaces - Schönbrunn, Belvedere
  • Abbey - Melk abbey
  • Other - Semmering Railway

Crafts
Many Viennese shops sell delightful local crafts that can serve as wonderful gifts for family and friends. Among these gifts are hand-painted porcelain, ceramics, handmade dolls, wrought-iron work, petit-point needlework, knitwear, down quilts, wood-carvings, and leather goods. Porcelain from the manufacturer Augarten, is especially famous from Vienna and should be considered as a gift for someone special.

Cuisine

  • Wiener Schnitzel: this austrian speciality is breadcrumb and fried veal escalope
  • Erdäpfel salat: it is made from potatoes
  • Kaiserschmarrn: this dessert is made from shredded pancake and stewed fruits.
  • Apfelstrudel: this is a very delicious dessert; it is made from thin rolled dough filled by apple
  • Typical drinks in Austria: the national drink is beer like in Germany, but there is a huge range of excellent wines as well, especially white wines are very popular in Austria (Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Muskateller etc.) 

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