History of Styria, Austria

Styria, Austrian federal state in central and south-eastern Austria with an area of ​​16 401 km 2 and 1.24 million residents; The capital is Graz. Styria is divided into two parts by the Mur-Mürz-Furche: In the north lies Upper Styria with the highest mountain ranges, parts of the Northern Limestone Alps (Hoher Dachstein 2,995 m) and the Lower Tauern, separated from them by the Ennstal, with alpine and timber industry, major iron ore mining, magnesite and lignite mining and the iron and steel industry.

In the south lies the climatically milder Lower Styria with the Grazer Feld (plain north of Graz), the Gleinalpe and the Fischbacher Alps. Here mainly agriculture is practiced. Over half of Styria is covered with forest. The industry is mainly based in the Mur and Ennstal: iron and steel, machine, electrical and paper industries.

History: Settled since the Paleolithic, the area of ​​Styria belonged to the province of Noricum in Roman times. The Germanic Baiern (Bajuwaren) immigrated from around 500 AD and around 590 Slovenes. After the invading Hungarians were finally repulsed on the Lechfeld in 955, Styria came to the Duchy of Carinthia in 976; In 1180 the Duchy of Styria was formed, which fell to Habsburg in 1282. In 1919 the southern part had to be ceded to Yugoslavia. Hermann Schützenhöfer (* 1952, ÖVP) has been the head of government since 2015.


Traces of human settlement go back to the Paleolithic. Around 1000 BC The Illyrian Norics immigrated to the region since the middle of the 1st millennium BC. Merged with Celtic tribes. The country, which is rich in precious metals and iron ores, belonged to the 15 BC. BC Noricum province conquered by the Romans. Teutons (Marcomanni, Quadi, Vandals, Ostrogoths) and Huns (375) stormed and occupied it from AD 169. Immigration from Bavaria in the north began around 500, while the Slovenes settled in the last quarter of the 6th century expanded in the south and established the Duchy of Karantanien (Carinthia, Upper Styria and parts of Lower Styria; Karantaner) in the 7th century; it was occupied by Duke Odilo of Bavaria († 748) in 740 and joined the Frankish Empire by Charlemagne after the Avars were repulsed. Under King Ludwig the German The first German colonization took place, especially in Central and Lower Styria, in which the Slovenes were also involved and in which great manors arose. In 894/907 the Hungarians occupied large parts of Styria and could not be pushed back until 955 with the battle on the Lechfeld. In 976 the Duchy of Carinthia was formed, from which several brands were spun off. The Kärntnermark (Latin marchia Carantana) in the east with the center of the former Hengistburg (near Wildon), the starting area of ​​today’s Styria, remained with the Duchy of Carinthia and was under the control of the margraves from the Traungau family with ancestral seat Steyr since around 1050; In 1122 the Mur and Mürz valleys fell to the Traungau family. In 1180 Styria was elevated to a duchy (Latin marchia Styriae). Otakar IV signed a contract of inheritance (“Georgenberger Handfeste”) with the Babenbergers, who received Styria after his death in 1192. In the struggle for the inheritance of the Babenbergs, which died out in 1246, King Ottokar II. Přemysl of Bohemia prevailed.

In 1282, under Albrecht I, Styria came to the Habsburgs, 1379 when the Habsburg lands were divided on their Leopoldine line, from which the Styrian branch line branched off in 1411. From 1479–90, large parts of Styria were occupied by the Hungarians; from 1471 and again between 1529 and 1699 it was repeatedly devastated by the Ottomans. In 1515 and 1525 there were peasant riots, v. a. as the Lutheran doctrine, which was severely suppressed, spread. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Styrian estates were forcibly recatholicized. From 1564 to 1619, Styria was one of the inner Austrian states with extensive independence as part of the division of the federal states, some of which survived into the 18th century. In 1848 the manorial rule in Styria ended, and the state parliament was reorganized by accepting citizens and farmers.

In the peace treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919) Austria had to cede what was previously southern Styria (including today’s Maribor) to what was later to become Yugoslavia. After Austria’s “annexation” to the German Reich, Styria, expanded to include southern Burgenland, was Reichsgau in 1938–45. After the re-establishment of the Republic of Austria, it became a federal state again; from 1945 the ÖVP provided the governor, including 1948–71 Josef Krainer senior (* 1903, † 1971), 1971–80 Friedrich Niederl (* 1920, † 2012), 1980–96 Josef Krainer junior (* 1930); on January 23, 1996, Waltraud Klasnic (* 1945) for the first time in Austria a woman was elected to this office. In 2005 the SPÖ became the strongest party and also provided the governor in Franz Voves (* 1953). After the state elections in 2015, the office fell back to the ÖVP. Franz Voves’ successor was Hermann Schützenhöfer (ÖVP) (* 1952). In the state elections on November 24, 2019, the ÖVP made up 7.6 percentage points and became the strongest force with 36.1%. The ÖVP under the leadership of H. Schützenhofer formed the 18th legislative period with the SPÖ.

History of Styria, Austria