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Styria: mountains, forests and natural parks

This article is also available in: Italian

Styria is a state (Bundesländer) of south-central Austria which borders Slovenia and Carinthia to the south. While to the east it borders with Burgenland, to the north-east with Lower Austria, to the north-west with Upper Austria and to the west with the Salzburg region. Styria is the second largest Austrian state and the fourth largest by population. Its territory is divided into 16 districts (Bezirke), and a statutory city (Statutarstädte), the capital Graz, the second largest Austrian city by population.

Styria during the Roman Empire was part of the provinces of Noricum and Pannonia. Then during the Middle Ages, in the 12th century, it became part of Austria and then of the possessions of the Habsburgs. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the region was severely hit by the incursions of the Ottoman Turks. After the First World War its territory was divided between Austria, present-day Austrian Styria, and Yugoslavia, Lower Styria or Slovenian Styria (Štajerska).

A BEAUTIFUL REGION SET IN THE ALPS

Styria is an alpine region rich in mountains, and with a very varied landscape. Towards the north-west are the highest peaks in the region, belonging to the North-Eastern Alps (Nördliche Kalkalpen). Among the mountains, the most impressive is the Hoher Dachstein (2,995 meters), which is located along the border with Upper Austria. This area is part of the Salzkammergut area, which due to its scenic beauty has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Other mountain ranges that characterize the landscape of the region are those of the Central Eastern Alps with, to the west, the Low Tauern mountains, and the Gurktal and Lavanttal Alps. These mountains have peaks that far exceed two thousand meters. While the central area of the country is crossed by the pre-Alps. In this area flows the Mur river, only to the south-west towards the border with Slovenia the territory is formed by hills covered with thick wooded areas.

Tourist attractions: What to see in Styria.

Styria (Steiermark)
Population: 1,211,054 (2010)
Area: 16,401 km²
Capital: Graz
Highest point: Hoher Dachstein 2,995 meters

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