Updated at 2022-03-11
The world-famous Austrian crystal is, in actuality, not a natural crystal. Rather, it is an artificial crystal created by adding lead and other rare earth materials to glass. Although artificial, the prices of Austrian crystals are comparable to that of natural crystals. The reason is that Austrian crystals are mainly processed by the Austrian crystal giant Swarovski, using century-old cutting techniques to give them sparkle beyond that of natural crystals. No wonder Swarovski has a cult following for its animal ornaments. The company also provides raw materials for the boutique, fashion, and crystal lamp industries.
Flag: The Austrian flag is a horizontal triband of red (top and bottom) and white. It is one of the oldest designs in the world.
National Day: October 26
Language: German (main) and English (universal)
Area: 83,871 square kilometers
Population: 8.91 million (2020)
Religion: Catholic (73.8%)
Government: Austria is a federal parlimentary republic comprising 9 states: Wien, Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich, Salzburg, Tirol, Vorarlberg, Kärnten, Steiermark, and Burgenland. Parliament is divided into the upper house (Bundesrat) and the lower house (Nationalrat), and the government is a cabinet system. The Chancellor holds the highest seat in the federal government and serves for a term of 5 years. Currently, the government is jointly controlled by the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Green Alternative (Die Grüne).