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Klagenfurt Travel Guide

Klagenfurt am Wörthersee is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria. Legend has it that Klagenfurt was founded after a couple of brave men had slain the abominable “Lindwurm”, a winged dragon in the moors adjoining the lake, the staple diet of which is said to have been virgins, but which did not spurn the fat bull on a chain that the men had mounted on a strong tower. The feat is commemorated by a grandiose 9-ton Renaissance monument in the city centre. With a population of over 90,000 it is the sixth-largest city in the country. The city is the bishop’s seat of the Roman Catholicdiocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt and home to the Alpen-Adria University.Klagenfurt is located 446 m (1,463 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 120.11 km2 (46.37 sq mi). It is on the lake Wörthersee and on the Glan River. The city is surrounded by several forest-covered hills and mountains with heights of up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft), for example, Ulrichsberg. To the south is the Karawanken mountain range, which separates Carinthia from Slovenia and Italy. Carinthia’s eminent linguists Primus Lessiak and Eberhard Kranzmayer assumed that the city’s name, which literally translates as “ford of lament” or “ford of complaints”, had something to do with the superstitious thought that fateful fairies or demons tend to live around treacherous waters or swamps.

In Old Slovene cviljovec is a place haunted by such a wailing female ghost or cvilya. Thus they assumed that Klagenfurt’s name was a translation by the German settlers of the original Slovene name of the neighbouring wetland. However, the earliest Slovene mention of Klagenfurt in the form of “v Zelouzi” (‘in Celovec’, the Slovene name for Klagenfurt) dating from 1615 is 400 years younger and thus appears to be a translation from German. The latest interpretation, on the other hand, is that the Old Slovene cviljovec itself goes back to an Italic l’aquiliu meaning a place at or in the water, which would make the wailing-hag theory obsolete.

Location Map

Viktring Abbey

Viktring Abbey was founded in 1142 by Cistercian monks descending from Weiler-Bettnach Abbey in the Duchy of Lorraine at nowadays Saint-Hubert, itself a filial monastery of Morimond Abbey. Its lands were probably a gift of Count Bernhard of Maribor, a scion of the House of Sponheim and brother of Duke Engelbert of Carinthia, and his wife Kunigunde, daughter of Margrave Ottokar II of Styria. As early as 13 May in the following year the first abbot, Eberhard, was consecrated. The abbey church was dedicated 60 years later by Eberhard of Regensberg, Archbishop of Salzburg, in 1202. In 1234 the Carinthian duke Bernhard von Spanheim had a filial monastery established at Kostanjevica in the March of Carniola. The most notable abbot was the chronicler John of Viktring, confidant of Duke Henry of Carinthia, who assumed his office in 1312. Under Abbot Johannes II in 1411 the greater part of Viktring Abbey burnt down. Vigorous re-building in the abbey and the parishes belonging to it was however made possible by decree of the Cistercian General Chapter. In 1447 the German king Frederick III of Habsburg presented the abbey church with an altar. As a non-productive “contemplative” institution, Viktring Abbey was dissolved under Emperor Joseph II of Habsburg by court decree of 19 May 1786. The parish of Stift Viktring retained possession only of the church and the former priest’s house. The altar was removed to St. Bernard’s Abbey in Wiener Neustadt, and when that was merged into Heiligenkreuz Abbey in 1885, sold to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, where it is to be seen opposite Emperor Frederick’s tomb.

Minimundus

The Minimundus is a miniature park on the Wörthersee at Klagenfurt in Carinthia, Austria. It displays over 150 miniature models of architecture from around the world, built at a ratio of 1:25. Since its opening in 1958, more than 15 million visitors have visited the 26,000 square meters park. The proceeds benefit the children’s help organization Rettet das Kind (“Save the Child”), which owns the park. If you like this, check out Mini Europe – Brussels

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Miniature Worlds

Miniature Worlds are not just for the children adults too can loose themselves in the fascinating mini scenes that include tiny houses set in wonderful mini scenic villages and towns.

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Wörthersee

The Wörthersee is an alpine lake in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia. The lake is elongated, about 20 km long and 1–2 km wide. It stretches from the Carinthian capital Klagenfurt in the east to Velden in the west. It is flanked to the north and south by steep alpine foothills covered with dense forests, beyond which snow-capped alpine peaks are visible. The lake’s water is a distinctive blue-green colour and transparent. In winter, the region is often covered by snow and approximately every 10 years the lake freezes over, attracting numerous ice skaters. The Mediterranean climate and clean, warm water make the lake a popular tourist destination in summer. Although the region around the lake has been termed Austria’s Monte Carlo, in recent decades tourism around Lake Wörthersee has suffered from tough competition from package holidays to cheaper overseas destinations.The largest Volkswagen and Audi car show in Europe is held here (usually May) every year and since 1981.

Tentschach Castle

The Castle contains a chapel, dedicated to St.Nicolaus, which dates back to 1700.The high altar has an acanthus frame. The Castle is private property

Christmas in Klagenfurt

Simply charming: snow-covered roofs in the Renaissance old town, the smell of cinnamon biscuits, Vanilla cookies and Glühwein wafting through the lanes and Christmas carols accompanying people on their stroll through the city. The most beautiful Christmas Market The large Christmas Market in Klagenfurt is one of the most scenic in the Alps Adriatic area.

Christmas

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