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(A march is a protective zone set up to defend a border area.) In the tenth century, German king Otto I named it Ostarichi (eastern kingdom), from which the modern German name, Osterreich, derives.

The Latin name, Austria, had appeared by the twelfth century. Because the country is landlocked and bordered by eight other countries with their own distinctive cultures, the people of each province tend to be different.

The distinctions also occurred because different groups settled in Austria.

In addition to the Celts, Romans, Asians, Hungarians, and Germanic groups, many groups from central Europe arrived during the Middle Ages (500–1500).

With the advent of Communism in Eastern Europe, many people fled to Austria from the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

Despite pronounced provincial differences, however, the people of Austria are proud of their country and their independent identity as Austrians. Located in south-central Europe, Austria is a landlocked, mountainous country, with an area of approximately 32,375 square miles (83,850 square kilometers).

, peoples such as the Slavs, Germans, Huns, and Bohemians began to raid Austria.

Christianity, which became the official religion of the Roman Empire, had become established in the region by the end of the fourth century.Austrians call their country Osterreich (eastern empire).The name dates to about 800, when Charlemagne, emperor of the Germanic Franks, took control of the region, naming it Eastern March because it was meant to stem invasions by marauders from the east.It shares borders with Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.Its western portion is a narrow strip that extends between Germany and Italy.The Danube River, Austria's only navigable waterway, flows from southeastern Germany across northern Austria.

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