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Portal into a Timeless World

Austria

The territory of present-day Austria was an important crossroad of trade and cultural exchange. Therefore, the Austrian traditions represent a varied mosaic of influences and reflections. Character of the landscape was another determining factor. On one hand there are Alps and with difficultly accessible valleys, which formed a very specific cultural forms and dialects; on the other we can find wide open valley of the Danube lowlands in the east of the country, where the cultivation of wine and numerous agricultural crops determined the character of the local traditions. The folk culture was also influenced by the turbulent history of the country, including many wars and Turkish incursions. Thanks to this, mainly the city of Vienna became the mediator of the transmission of cultural elements between the Balkans and Central Europe. Moreover, the culture of Austrian lands was heavily enriched by elements of the cultures of other areas of the empire during the existence of the Habsburg monarchy (and vice versa). Vienna is a large cosmopolitan city but some Tyrolean valleys or Burgerland villages still remain oases of vivid and cherished folk traditions.

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