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This is the country of music, snow capped mountains, romantic cities, Hapsburg palaces, winter sports and even the finest pastries, all mixed into a heady brew that takes the name of Austria.
There is a certain paradox about Austria. In many ways a discreet country overshadowed by its huge neighbour, Germany, it has nevertheless been a major contributor to Europe’s culture over the centuries, its legacy as a major European 18th century power and an intellectual environment that promoted the arts provided a perfect platform to develop various forms of music, painting and philosophy. Its musical legacy to the world, for example, is quite unparalleled.
Some of the greatest composers of all time, Mozart, Haydn, Strauss, Schubert and Mahler, to name but just a few at the tip of a very large iceberg, all came from Austria.