Upper and Lower Austria together form the historic heartland of Austria (Vienna, the capital, traditionally belongs to Lower). It is a beautiful area (population:1.4 million) with rolling hills and with villages and towns in that typical Austrian style that people associate with an old-fashioned, quaint sort of comfort and spirit. The state shares international borders with Germany and with the Czech Republic. This location has recently given Upper Austria two separate economic boosts of huge proportions: In 1989, when communism in Europe was defeated by its people, suddenly the Czechs were there as a vital trade partner, and then, when in the early nineties the country joined the EU, import and export with Germany multiplied exponentially.
The state's capital is the ancient city of Linz. Adolf Hitler was so much in love with it that he intended after the end of the war to turn it into the new capital of the German Empire, making it as big as Berlin through massive construction of Nazi architecture. Fortunately, this plan never was fulfilled. Linz now has a population of almost 200 thousand, and it was founded by the Romans under the name of Lentia.
The whole region of Upper Austria, however, is mostly agricultural, albeit with some very strong industrial pockets. Of course, these days the service sector is widely seen as the most crucial branch of a modern economy. It important to note here that Upper Austria, although it is so widely associated with tradition and history, is in no way backward.