The flag of Austria, adopted as her national flag in 1918, is a simple tri-band design of three horizontal bands (one white sandwiched by two red bands). According to legend, during the Battle of Ptolemais, the Duke Leopold V of Austria was drenched in blood from the ferocious battle and only a strip of white remained under his sword belt when he removed it. This inspired him to choose the red and white colours and pattern for his flag.
Historic Vienna —
Nina and I spent a cold week in February in the midst of European charm in historic Vienna. What a beautiful city! We walked from our hotel near Stadtpark toward the center of the old town where we soon came upon the massive St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It’s 137 meter (448 ft) tower spire is easily seen from all across the city. Built in the 14th century by Duke Rudolf IV, the iconic cathedral has served as the center of many religious events for nearly 700 years.
Facts & Figures
— Vienna is located on the River Danube and is the capital of Austria with a population of nearly 2 million making it Austria’s largest city
— The official language of Austria is German, however English is widely spoken
— Austria is a land-locked country in the European Union, bordered by 8 countries (Slovenia and Italy on its southern border; Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Czech Republic and Germany on its northern border, with Hungary and Slovakia to the east)
— Vienna was previously the capital of the Holy Roman Empire that spanned over 300 years (1483–1806)
— Vienna was subjected to a tragic plague in 1679, known as ‘The Great Plague of Vienna’, that killed around a third of its population. Historians and scholars believe that the disease was a bubonic plague, which is caused by the bacteria carried by fleas from rats. Due to Vienna’s location on the River Danube it was a major crossroads for trade, which in turn created a dense population for that time. The city had no modern sewage or rubbish disposal, which bred a large rat infestation whose fleas are believed to have carried the disease
— Until 1955, the 137 m (448 ft) spire on the south tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral was manned with a watchman who would sound a bell as an alarm if any fires broke out in the city during the night
— Vienna has a tram system that we were told was very easy to use but we did not have a chance to use it; however, we did use Vienna’s train service and took a very easy one-hour train ride from Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia for a day of sightseeing there (see our ‘Bratislava, Slovakia‘ post for more information); by the way, the Vienna train station is very nice and easy to navigate
— Vienna is easily walkable for tourists but is massive with historic sites in all parts of the city
— The unit of currency for Austria is the Euro (EUR)
Philippians 4:6 – New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
If you are a world trekker like us and want to become more ‘worldly’, then you will want to try our books below. Thanks to the former British Empire and current Commonwealth, the English language is widely spoken across the world, however it is spoken quite differently depending on where you are traveling. We believe the books below are essential to worldly trekkers and think you will find them both fun and informative. The books include a dictionary of everyday words and phrases, traditional cuisine, some history and culture, and other handy information.
Simply click on the book covers below to find out more: