Continuing my quest to learn some random facts about my December travel destinations, a little online research brought me to these (unverified) bits of trivia about Austria and Vienna:
- Legal voting age in Austria is only 16 years old. While that’s really young, I doubt teen Austrian voters could be any less informed than the majority of their 18 year old U.S. counterpart first time voters. Interestingly, Austrian teens may not receive their first drivers license until they are 18; but legal drinking age for Austrians is 16. I guess the Austrian kids can build up a tolerance to alcohol before getting behind the wheel in a couple of years. Hmmmmm……
- Tiergarten Schönbrunn, founded in 1752 and located in Vienna, is world’s oldest zoological garden.
- People from Vienna are called Viennese, which has a much classier ring to it than my Milwaukeean or Wisconsinite label.
- The Austrian Alps cover about 62% of Austria’s total land area.
- Classical composers, including Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert have all performed and lived in Vienna.
- Europe’s second largest cemetery, Zentralfriedhof, is located in Vienna, and has a total size of one square mile. Zentralfriedhof contains over 2.5 million tombs, almost double the city’s living population. Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Strauss not only lived in Vienna, but were also buried there.
- Approximately one fourth of Austria’s population reside in the capital city of Vienna.
- Vienna, along with Bratislava, Belgrade and Budapest, is one of four capital cities through with the Danube River flows.
- This fact did not come from online research, but rather from my longstanding addiction to ’80s British Invasion era music: “Vienna” is the name of a synth-pop ballad (an awesome one, in my humble opinion) released in 1981 by the British band Ultravox and featuring the haunting vocals of none other than Midge Ure.