A landlocked central-European, mountainous country with an Alpine climate, the Republic of Austria can boast of a rich and grand history of more than a thousand years in it’s many forms, from a Duchy in the 1100s to a vast Empire in the 1800s and presently a modern federal republic.
With an area of over 80,000 square kilometres divided into nine states and a population of 8.5 million, Austria can boast of being one of the richest countries not only in Europe but also in the rest of the world.
Of course, we cannot look at monetary wealth alone: Austria has been home to a vast amount of talented individuals renowned worldwide in the fields of culture and sciences.
From arguably Austria’s most famous export, the great composers such as Haydn, Lizst, Schubert, Strauss and Mozart to the more recent, Eurovision Song Contest 2014 winner, Conchita Wurst; and a host of other prodigious individuals, from world renowned actors (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christoph Waltz) to photographers (Ernst Haas) and artists (Gustav Klimt). This Eastern Realm - the literal meaning of the name of this great country - has something for all tastes.
And we can’t forget the great scientists, including the world famous neurologist, father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; and the more than twenty Nobel Prize Laureates, from chemistry to physiology and going further afield to literature and the peace prize, that have called Austria home.
In philately its history is as diverse as its cultural and scientific offerings. The first postal stamps were issued by the then Austrian Empire in June 1, 1850 and throughout the years have been used in territories in central Europe belonging to modern-day Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic and even the northern Italian region of Alto Adige (South Tyrol), to name a few. Depicting all kinds of icons: from sports personalities, to its flora and fauna and Vienna’s architectural delights, Austria’s postage stamps are a great way to get an insight and learn about this rich nation.