Federal state of southeast Austria, extending south from the Danube along the western border of the Hungarian plain, bordering Lower Austria in the northwest and Styria in the southwest; area 3,965 sq km/1,531 sq mi; population (2001 est) 278,600. Its capital is Eisenstadt.
Physical In the north the state is generally flat, but in the south are spurs of the Alps, with the valleys of the River Raab and its tributaries. Lake Neusiedl, Central Europe's only steppe lake, and its surroundings are a designated World Wildlife Area and national park.
Economy It is a largely agricultural region adjoining the Neusiedler See, and produces timber, fruit, sugar, wine, lignite, antimony, and limestone.
History Once part of the Celtic kingdom of Noricum and later part of the Roman province of Pannonia, Burgenland was occupied by Teutonic tribes until the Germans settled it in the 8th century. Part of medieval Hungary, it came under Habsburg rule after 1529. The political ownership of the area became the subject of dispute after World War I. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia wanted it as a connecting link, while Hungary claimed it on historical and Austria on ethnic grounds. It was allotted to Austria by the treaties of St Germain-en-Laye and Trianon, and became a federal state in 1921. During World War II, it was annexed to the Third Reich along with the rest of Austria. After the end of the war, it was included in the Russian zone of occupation of Austria from 1945 to 1955.