Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, all cities that evoke Austria's grand and refined past, shaped over the centuries by the Habsburgs. This imperial past remains rooted in the architecture of its many palaces, theatres, buildings, and continues to live in the atmosphere of the cities and in the hearts of Austrians. Faced with this monumental art, Austria has at the same time been a hotbed of protest and innovation, as shown by the works of Secessionist art or a Friedensreich Hundertwasser... Moreover, Austria's past is not only that of the splendour of the imperial court popularised by the Sissi films. Between modernity, disenchantment and questioning of old values, Vienna has forged a strong identity, as can be seen in the visual arts with names such as Klimt, Moser, Schiele and Kokoschka, in music with Schoenberg and his disciples Webern and Berg, in literature and in psychoanalysis with Musil and Freud, Thomas Bernhard and Peter Handke.
Sport in perspective :
Athletes will be spoilt for choice, as there are so many possibilities in this area. Water sports, climbing, hiking, cycling or horseback riding, not to mention the country's vast ski area, the densest in the world. 22,000 km of downhill and 16,000 km of cross-country skiing, for a generally long season, all in a truly privileged and lovingly preserved environment: a challenge envied by skiers all over the world.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette