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House of Austria
Founded: 2000

large product photo   CULTURAL PROGRAMS

Hall of Nations

The House of Austria regularly hosts the Hall of Nations.  One of its features is a screening of a movie about Austria, followed by an open discussion to educate children and adults alike about Austrian customs and traditions

Sharing Our Culture

In the increasingly shrinking world, mutual understanding among cultures is paramount.  For that reason the House of Austria endorsed Julian to establish a partnership of cultural exchange with the quaint mountain town of Heiligenblut, located in the Austrian Alps.  The members of the House of Austria made it their mission to continue to promote the friendship between the peoples of the two towns.

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Holiday Events
The House of Austria members meet several times each year to celebrate various occasions, such as the Easter and Christmas holidays. The holiday party is held at the Westgate Hotel and is often timed to precede the Annual New Year’s Concert, which the members frequently attend. The world-renowned main event is performed in Vienna by the State Philharmonic, but many New Year’s Concerts are performed at other venues, including one here in San Diego at the Symphony Hall. 

Members also meet each month for the Stammtisch, an informal get-together at different restaurants around San Diego for good food, drink and conversation. This event offers a good opportunity to catch up on local and Austrian events and gives non-Austrian members a chance to practice their German.

Lawn Program & Ethnic Food Fair
During the Lawn Program and the Ethnic Food Fair at the Houses or Pacific Relations in Balboa Park, the members showcase their specialties of Austrian fare.  Home-made pastries and Sachertorte are especially popular.

Other Events
On occasion, members organize a movie night to watch old Austrian movies or visit exhibitions of Austrian artists in San Diego. 

The House of Austria also organizes guided trips to Europe for larger groups, which are always educational and fun.  Dates are announced on our website: www.HouseOfAustriaSanDiego.com

Austrian Coat of Arms

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Schönbrunn, the former imperial summer residence




Did you know that …
––the inspiration for the Austrian flag comes from Duke Leopold V (1157-1194)?  Legend has it that during one of the Crusades Leopold removed his belt, which revealed a white stripe in the middle of his blood-soaked tunic.  In 1230 Duke Friedrich II adopted this pattern of red-white-red (rot-weiss-rot) as national flag.

––the Austrian Coat of Arms was modified after WWII?  The main changes included replacing the imperial double-headed eagle with a single-headed one, adding a sickle and a hammer into its claws to represent the unity of the ruling and the working classes, and depicting a broken chain at its feet to symbolize liberation from Nazism.

––the song “Silent Night” was first sung on Christmas Eve in 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria?  The priest Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics and the school teacher Franz Gruber created the melody to a song known in original as “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht.”  The pleasant beauty of the words and the melody compelled people to translate the song into many other languages.

––the Habsburg royal dynasty, which ruled the Austrian-Hungarian Empire from 1278 until 1918, established relations all over Europe?  The Habsburgs judicious rule helped the Empire grow mainly by the means of marital acquisitions.  As the Empire expanded, the Habsburgs formed close ties in Bohemia, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain, and France.  At one time, the Habsburg influence reached even North America when Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian became Emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867.

––the tradition of brewing fine coffee in Vienna dates back to 1683?  That year the Turkish armies besieging Vienna were turned to flight and left behind a stock of coffee.  Franz Georg Kolschitzky used this stock to open the first central-European ‘Cafe House’.  He served his refined beverage sweetened, without the grounds, and with milk––thus, Viennese coffee culture war born.

––The Sound of Music, a famous musical starring Julie Andrews, was based on a true story?  Two German movies were made, based on Maria von Trapp’s book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, before Hollywood made the musical in 1965.  In real life, Von Trapps eventually moved from Switzerland to Vermont, where Maria and Captain von Trapp’s descendants live to this day.


Arnold Schwarzenegger (b. 1947), Governor of California, actor, director, athlete
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), composer
Billy Wilder (1906-2002), movie director (Some Like It Hot)
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), painter
Johann Strauss, a.k.a. “King of Waltz” (1825-1899), composer (“The Blue Danube”)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), founder of psychoanalysis
Lippizaner Stallions (est. 1580), world-famous breed of show horses

large product photo   FUTURE PLANS

Probably the most important task ahead is the establishment of a House of Austria cottage in Balboa Park.  While the members are firm in maintaining their cultural traditions, a building will certainly centralize and strengthen the cohesion of the House’s membership.  By having a cottage, the House will gain not only a permanent home but also a permanent place among the other Houses.

large product photo   COUNTRY INFORMATION

Land Area: 32,383 sq. miles                               
Population:  8,199,789
Capital City: Vienna                                        
Language:  German German (official nationwide). Regionally: Croatian, Slovene, and Hungarian.
Form of Government:  Federal Republic                 
Religion: Catholic (73.6%), Protestant, and others
Economy: Tourism, paper, construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard, communications equipment. 
Exports: machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs. (Swarowski, Riedl, Red Bull, and KTM are some of the better known companies exporting goods to the U.S.)


Source: The World Factbook - Austria



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