Austria ratified the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in December 1992. As of 2011, Austria has nine inscriptions on the UNESCO World Heritage List:
Salzburg, with its dramatic townscape and historically significant urban fabric, together with its proliferation of prominent ecclesiastical and secular buildings from across the ages, is a salient example of an European ecclesiastical city-state. As a meeting point of cultures and arts from northern and southern Europe, Salzburg is, primarily associated with music and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, well known.
The ensemble constitutes an especially well preserved example of the Baroque princely residence in the form of a synthesis of arts. Together with the park this is an outstanding example for the princely-baroque time-periode.
This alpine region is an outstanding example of a natural landscape of great beauty and scientific interest. The history of Hallstatt and this region can be traced back to the salt-economy and its connection with culture and nature.
Semmering Railway (1998)
The Semmering Railway represents a notable technological solution to a major physical problem in the construction of early railways, thereby creating a new form of cultural landscape. The Semmering Railway was built between 1848 and 1854 with a length of 41 kilometres.
The historic centre of the city of Graz reflects artistic and architectural movements originating from the Germanic region, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean, for which it served as a crossroad for centuries. The urban complex, with the shortly after 1625 built Schloss Eggenberg, is an exceptional example of a harmonious integration of architectural styles from successive periods. The urban physiognomy faithfully tells the story of its historic development.
Wachau Cultural Landscape (2000)
The Wachau is an outstanding example of a riverine landscape bordered by mountains in which material evidence of its long historical evolution has survived to a remarkable degree. The architecture, the human settlements, and the agricultural use of the land in the Wachau vividly illustrate a basically medieval landscape which has evolved organically and harmoniously over time.
Historic Centre of Vienna (2001)
Three key periods of European cultural and political development – the Middle Ages, the Baroque period, and the Gründerzeit, the era of industrialization – are exceptionally well illustrated by the urban and architectural heritage of the Historic Centre of Vienna. Since the 16th century Vienna has been universally acknowledged to be the musical capital of Europe.
Fertö-Neusiedler See Cultural Landscape, jointly with Hungary (2001)
Fertö/Neusiedler See has been the meeting place of different cultures for eight thousand years. Its varied landscape bears witness to this intercultural development process. The outstanding rural architecture around the lake and many palaces from the 18th and 19th century are a part of the significant prominence.
This serial property of 111 small individual sites (five of them located in Upper Austria (Attersee, Mondsee) and in Carinthia (Keutschacher See) encompasses the remains of prehistoric pile-dwelling settlements in and around the Alps. They were built from around 5000 to 500 B.C. on the edges of lakes, rivers or wetlands; nowadays the remains of these buildings and the findings from the surrounding areas provide insight into life in prehistoric times during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Alpine Europe.
Since 2004, the Austrian Commission for UNESCO has been encouraging cooperation between the Austrian World Heritage sites. On the Commission’s initiative, eight Austrian sites have combined to hold annual meetings. Following Fertö/Neusiedler See, Semmering and Graz, the 4th Austrian World Heritage Site Conference took place in Schönbrunn in September 2008.
World heritage education is a major factor in implementing the World Heritage Convention, as it fosters awareness of our joint responsibility for such sites and their long-term preservation.