History of Styria

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The history of Styria concerns the region roughly corresponding to the modern Austrian state of Styria from its settlement by Germans and Slavs in the Dark Ages until the present. This mountainous and scenic region, which became a centre for mountaineering in the 19th century, is often called the "Green March", because half of the area is covered with forests and one quarter with meadows, grasslands, vineyards and orchards. Styria is also rich in minerals, soft coal and iron, which has been mined at Erzberg since the time of the Romans. The Windisch Bueheln (Slovenske gorice) is a famous wine-producing district, stretching between Slovenia and Austria. Styria was for long the most densely-populated and productive mountain region in Europe.

Styria's population before World War I was 68% German-speaking, 32% Slovene, bordered on (clockwise) Lower Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Carniola, Carinthia, Salzburg, and Upper Austria. In 1918 after World War I the southern, Slovene-speaking third south of the river Mur was incorporated into Slovenia in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The remaining two thirds became the Austrian federal state of Styria, while the Slovene-speaking third (Lower Styria) formed the informal region of Štajerska in Slovenia, now divided up into the statistical EU regions of Podravska, Savinjska and part of Koroška.[1] The capital both of the duchy and the Austrian state has always been Graz, which is now also the residence of the governor and the seat of the administration of the land.


Political history

Dark Ages

The Roman history of Styria is as part of Noricum and Pannonia, with the romanized Celtic population of the Taurisci. During the great migrations, various Germanic tribes settled and/or traversed the region using the river valleys and low passes, but about 600 CE the Slavs took possession of the area and settled assimilating the remaining autochthonous romanized population.

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