Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.8 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 km². The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m, and its highest point is 3,798 m. The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.
The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire. From the time of the Reformation, many northern German princes, resenting the authority of the Emperor, used Protestantism as a flag of rebellion.