AUSTRIA – FORMER LARGEST EMPIRE IN EUROPE
Like most European countries, Austria looks back on a very eventful history. The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the Habsburg dynasty when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe. In comparison to other CE countries (instead of former West Germany), Austria was not affected negatively by a communist regime and Soviet influence that dominated in Eastern Europe for the whole second half of the 20th century. As a consequence, Austria is economically on a different level than the other countries of Central Europe which makes this region more interesting and diverse for international programs’ participants from the educational perspective.
VIENNA – SEAT OF MANY INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
The seat of the former Habsburg Empire and Austrian capital, Vienna, as a world centre of the arts, the site of many splendid palaces, and the headquarters for many international organizations (United Nations, OPEC, OECD, etc.).
Tourists can visit the houses of Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or Johann Strauss. Apart from being regarded as the “City of Music”, Vienna is also said to be "City of Dreams", because it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst and interpreters of dreams, Sigmund Freud.
If you love fairy tales, the visit of Schönbrunn Palace will uncover the beautiful love story of the princess Sissi (Empress Elisabeth of Austria). Vienna’s Gothic masterpiece Stephansdom, or Steffl (Little Stephan) as it’s nicknamed, is Vienna's pride and joy.
Nothing symbolizes the culture and heritage of Austria more than its Hofburg, home base of the Habsburgs from 1273 to 1918. The colourful Hundertwasserhaus apartment building is a surprise and the main point of interest for many tourists every year.