Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
|• Mayor||Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz (SPÖ)|
|• Total||120.12 km2 (46.38 sq mi)|
|Elevation||446 m (1,463 ft)|
|• Density||840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
9020, 9061, 9063, 9065, 9073, 9201
Klagenfurt am Wörthersee [ˌklaːɡn̩fʊʁt ʔam ˈvœʁtɐzeː] (
The city of Klagenfurt is in southern Austria, midway across the nation, near the international border. It is in the lower middle of Austria, almost the same distance from Innsbruck in the west, as it is from Vienna in the northeast.
Klagenfurt is elevated 446 metres (1,463 feet) above sea level and covers an area of 120.03 square kilometres (46.34 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 of the city is the Karawanken mountain range, which separates Carinthia from bordering nations of Slovenia and Italy.
Klagenfurt is a statutory city of Carinthia, and the administrative seat of the district of Klagenfurt-Land, but is a separate district from Klagenfurt-Land. In fact, their licence plates are different (K for the city, KL for the district). Klagenfurt is divided itself into 16 districts:
It is further divided into 25 Katastralgemeinden. They are: Klagenfurt, Blasendorf, Ehrenthal, Goritschitzen, Großbuch, Großponfeld, Gurlitsch I, Hallegg, Hörtendorf, Kleinbuch, Lendorf, Marolla, Nagra, Neudorf, St. Martin bei Klagenfurt, St. Peter am Karlsberg, St. Peter bei Ebenthal, Sankt Peter am Bichl, St. Ruprecht bei Klagenfurt, Stein, Tentschach, Viktring, Waidmannsdorf, Waltendorf, and Welzenegg.
Klagenfurt has a typical continental climate, with a fair amount of fog throughout the autumn and winter. The rather cold winters are, however, broken up by occasional warmer periods due to foehn wind from the Karawanken mountains to the south. The average temperature from 1961 and 1990 was 7.1 °C (44.8 °F), while the average temperature in 2005 was 9.3 °C (48.7 °F).
|Climate data for Klagenfurt (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.7|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.6|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−25.1|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||26|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00)||76.5||60.7||52.0||48.7||49.2||50.1||49.1||51.3||55.3||63.6||74.0||80.6||59.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||90||140||170||184||223||226||255||239||189||128||74||62||1,981|
|Percent possible sunshine||35.7||53.3||49.8||48.9||50.8||51.1||57.1||57.6||53.0||41.3||27.0||24.8||45.9|
|Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics|
|Climate data for Klagenfurt (1971–2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.4|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−4|
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−25.1|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||30.9|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||17.5|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||5.1||4.9||6.2||8.0||9.6||11.5||10.2||9.4||7.2||7.3||7.1||5.4||91.9|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00)||78.0||63.9||52.6||47.8||49.0||50.6||50.3||51.4||65.8||63.0||76.1||81.9||60.0|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||78.8||123.0||158.3||175.2||212.5||217.5||241.2||233.0||180.5||125.6||66.0||57.4||1,869|
|Percent possible sunshine||31.2||46.6||46.2||46.5||48.5||49.2||53.9||56.1||50.7||40.8||24.1||23.1||43.1|
|Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics|
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 made 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 more recent and thus could 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.
Scholars had at various times attempted to explain the city's peculiar name: In the 14th century, the abbot and historiographer John of Viktring translated Klagenfurt's name in his Liber certarum historiarum as Queremoniae Vadus, i.e. "ford of complaint", Hieronymus Megiser, Master of the university college of the Carinthian Estates in Klagenfurt and editor of the earliest printed history of the duchy in 1612, believed to have found the origin of the name in a "ford across the River Glan",which, however, is impossible for linguistic reasons. The common people also sought an explanation: A baker's apprentice was accused of theft and executed, but when a few days afterwards the alleged theft turned out to be a mistake and the lad was proved to be totally innocent, the citizens' "lament" ('Klagen') went forth and forth". This story was reported by Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius II.
In 2007, the city changed its official name to "Klagenfurt am Wörthersee" (i.e., Klagenfurt on Lake Wörth). However, since there are no other settlements by the name of Klagenfurt anywhere, the previous shorter name remains ubiquitous.
Legend has it that Klagenfurt was founded after a couple of brave men slayed the abominable "Lindwurm" (a winged dragon in the moors adjoining the lake, the staple diet of which was said to have been virgins). The legend says that the dragon was defeated by a 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.
Historically, the place was founded by the Spanheim Duke Herman as a stronghold sited across the commercial routes in the area. Its first mention dates from the late 12th century in a document in which Duke Ulric II. exempted St. Paul's Abbey from the toll charge "in foro Chlagenvurth".That settlement occupied an area that was subject to frequent flooding, so in 1246 Duke Herman's son, Duke Bernhard von Spanheim, moved it to a safer position and is thus considered to be the actual founder of the market place, which in 1252 received a city charter.
In the following centuries, Klagenfurt suffered fires, earthquakes, invasions of locusts, and attacks from Islamic Ottomans, and was ravaged by the Peasants' Wars. In 1514, a fire almost completely destroyed the city, and in 1518 Emperor Maximilian I, unable to rebuild it, despite the loud protests of the citizens, ceded Klagenfurt to the Estates, the nobility of the Duchy. Never before had such a thing happened. The new owners, however, brought about an economic renaissance and the political and cultural ascendancy in Klagenfurt. A canal was dug to connect the city to the lake as a supply route for timber to rebuild the city and to feed the city's new moats; the noble families had their town-houses built in the duchy's new capital; the city was enlarged along a geometrical chequer-board lay-out according to the Renaissance ideas of the Italian architect Domenico dell'Allio; a new city centre square, the Neuer Platz, was constructed; and the new fortifications that took half a century to build made Klagenfurt the strongest fortress north of the Alps.
In 1809, however, the French troops (under Napoleon) destroyed the city walls, leaving, against a large sum collected by the citizens, only one eastern gate (which was pulled down to make way for traffic some decades later), and the small stretch in the west which is now all that is left of the once grand fortifications. In 1863, the railway connection to St. Veit an der Glan boosted the city's economy and so did the building of the Vienna-Trieste railway that brought to the city an imposing central station (destroyed in World War II) and solidified Klagenfurt as the centre of the region.
During the 19th century, the city developed into an important centre of Carinthian Slovene culture. Many important Slovene public figures lived, studied or worked in Klagenfurt, among them Anton Martin Slomšek, who later became the first bishop of Maribor and was beatified in 1999, the philologists Jurij Japelj and Anton Janežič, the politician Andrej Einspieler, and the activist Matija Majar. The Slovene national poet France Prešeren also spent a short part of his professional career there. On the initiative of bishop Slomšek, teacher Anton Janežič and vicar Andrej Einspieler on 27 July 1851 in Klagenfurt the Hermagoras Society publishing house was founded,which in 1919 moved to Prevalje and then in 1927 to Celje, but was re-established in Klagenfurt in 1947. Several Slovene language newspapers were also published in the city, among them the Slovenski glasnik . By the late 19th century, however, the Slovene cultural and political influence in Klagenfurt had declined sharply, and by the end of World War I, the city showed an overwhelmingly Austrian German character.
Nevertheless, in 1919, the city was occupied by the Army of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and claimed for the newly founded South-Slav kingdom. In 1920, the Yugoslav occupying forces withdrew from the town centre, but remained in its southern suburbs, such as Viktring and Ebenthal. They eventually withdrew after the Carinthian Plebiscite in October 1920, when the majority of voters in the Carinthian mixed-language Zone A decided to remain part of Austria.
In 1938, Klagenfurt's population suddenly grew by more than 50% through the incorporation of the town of St. Ruprecht and the municipalities of St. Peter, Annabichl, and St. Martin. But during World War II, the city was bombed 41 times. The bombs killed 612 people, completely destroyed 443 buildings and damaged 1,132 others. A volume of 110,000 cubic metres (3,884,613 cu ft) of rubble had to be removed before the citizens could set about rebuilding their city.
In order to avoid further destruction and a major bloodshed, on 3 May 1945 General Löhr of Army Group E (Heeresgruppe E) agreed to declare Klagenfurt an "open city" "in case Anglo-American forces should attack the city", a declaration that was broadcast several times and two days later also published in the Kärntner Nachrichten.
On 8 May 1945, 9:30 a.m., British troops of the Eighth Army under General McCreery entered Klagenfurt and were met in front of Stauderhaus by the new democratic city and state authorities. All the strategic positions and important buildings were immediately seized, and Major General Horatius Murray was taken to General Noeldechen for the official surrender of the 438th German Division. Three hours later, groups of partisan forces arrived on a train they had seized in the Rosental valley the day before, at the same time as Yugoslav regular forces of the IVth army. Both of these forces made their way through the city's streets which were jammed with tens of thousands of Volksdeutsche refugees, and masses of soldiers of all the nationalities that had been fighting under German command and were now fleeing the Russians. These partisan and Yugoslave regular forces claimed the city and the surrounding South Carinthian land, establishing the Komanda staba za Koroška, which would be named the "Commandantura of the Carinthian Military Zone" under Major Egon Remec . On Neuer Platz—renamed Adolf Hitler Platz in 1938—British armoured vehicles are said to have faced allied Yugoslav ones in a hostile way, which would have been a curious spectacle for the liberated citizens, but this is probably one more of those modern legends.
From the beginning of 1945, when the end of the war was rather obvious, numerous talks among representatives of democratic pre-1934 organisations had taken place, which later extended to high-ranking officers of the Wehrmacht and officials of the administration. Even representatives of the partisans in the hills south of Klagenfurt were met who, in view of the strong SS-forces in Klagenfurt, agreed not to attempt to take the city by force,but upheld the official declaration that south-eastern Carinthia was to be a Yugoslav possession.
On 7 May 1945, a committee convened in the historic Landhaus building of the Gau authorities in order to form a Provisional State government, and one of the numerous decisions taken was a proclamation to the "People of Carinthia". This proclamation included the reporting of the resignation of the Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter Friedrich Rainer, the transfer of power to the new authorities, and an appeal to the people to decorate their homes with Austrian or Carinthian colours. The proclamation was printed in the Kärntner Zeitung of 8 May. When on the following day, Yugoslav military demanded of Klagenfurt's new mayor that he remove the Austrian flag from the city hall and fly the Yugoslav flag instead, the acting British Town Officer Cptn. Watson immediately prohibited this, but also ordered that the Austrian flag be taken down.Accompanied by a guerilla troop carrying a machine pistol, a Yugoslav emissary appeared on the same day in the Landesregierung building, demanding of the Acting State Governor Piesch repeal the order to take down the Yugoslav flag, which was ignored.
Several days passed before, under British pressure with US diplomatic backing, the Yugoslav troops withdrew from the city proper,not before establishing a parallel Carinthian-Slovene civil administration (the Carinthian National Council) which was presided over by Franc Petek. However, protected by British soldiers, the members of the Provisional State Government went about devising a comprehensive programme to cover the new political, sociological, and economic outlooks in the land, which would serve the British military authorities. Rapid financial assistance and the restitution of property to the victims of the Nazi regime was necessary. This posed a problem, because one of the first actions of the British had been to confiscate all the property of the Nazi Party, as well as to freeze their bank accounts and to block their financial transfers. It took months before basic communication and public transport, mail service and supply were working again, to some extent at least. During the years that followed these turbulent days, a major part of the British Eighth Army, which in July 1945 was re-constituted as British Troops in Austria (BTA), had their headquarters in Klagenfurt - as Carinthia, together with neighbouring Styria, formed part of the British occupation zone in liberated Austria, which remained to be the case until 26 October 1955.
In 1961, Klagenfurt became the first city in Austria to adopt a pedestrian zone. The idea of a friendly twinning of cities in other countries began with the very first-ever city partnership between Klagenfurt and Wiesbaden, Germany, as early as 1930. This was followed up by numerous city partnerships, with the result that in 1968, Klagenfurt was honoured with the title of "European City of the Year". Klagenfurt has also been awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra Diploma of Merit (an award for the exemplary restoration and redevelopment of its ancient centre) a total of three times, which is a record for a European city.
In 1973, Klagenfurt absorbed four more adjacent municipalities: Viktring, with its grand Cistercian monastery; Wölfnitz; Hörtendorf; and St. Peter am Bichl. The addition of these municipalities increased the population of Klagenfurt to about 90,000.
As of January 2020, there were 101,403 people whose principal residence was Klagenfurt.
|Largest groups of foreign residents|
In 2019, there were around 20,000 people who were born outside the country living in Klagenfurt, corresponding to around 20% of the city's population.
The Old City, with its central Alter Platz (Old Square) and the Renaissance buildings with their charming arcaded courtyards are a major attraction.
Notable landmarks also include:
Klagenfurt is the economic centre of Carinthia, with 20% of the industrial companies. In May 2001, there were 63,618 employees in 6,184 companies here. 33 of these companies employed more than 200 people. The prevalent economic sectors are light industry, electronics, and tourism. There are also several printing offices.
Klagenfurt Airport is a primary international airport with connections to several major European cities and holiday resorts abroad.
The Klagenfurt central station (German : Hauptbahnhof) is located south of the city centre.
The city is situated at the intersection of the A2 and S37 motorways. The A2 autobahn runs from Vienna via Graz and Klagenfurt to Villach and further to the state border of Italy. The S37 freeway runs from Vienna via Bruck an der Mur and Sankt Veit an der Glan to Klagenfurt. The Loibl Pass highway B91 goes to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, which is only 88 km (55 mi) from Klagenfurt.
The volume of traffic in Klagenfurt is high (motorisation level: 572 cars/1000 inhabitants in 2007).In the 1960s, with the last streetcar (tram) line demolished, Klagenfurt was meant to become a car-friendly city, with many wide roads. A motorway was even planned which was to cross the city partly underground, but which now by-passes the city to the north. The problem of four railway lines from north, west, south, and east meeting at the central station south of the city centre and strangulating city traffic has been eased by a considerable number of underpasses on the main arteries. Nevertheless, despite 28 bus lines, traffic jams are frequent nowadays as in most cities of similar size. Ideas of a rapid transport system using the existing railway rails, of an elevated cable railway to the football stadium, or of a regular motorboat service on the Lend Canal from the city centre to the lake have not materialized. But for those who fancy leisurely travel there is a regular motorboat and steamer service on the lake connecting the resorts on Wörthersee. During severe winters, which no longer occur regularly, you might of course be faster crossing the frozen lake on your skates.
There is a civic theatre-cum-opera house with professional companies, a professional symphony orchestra, a state conservatory and concert hall. There are musical societies such as Musikverein (founded in 1826) or Mozartgemeinde, a private experimental theatre company, the State Museum, a modern art museum and the Diocesan museum of religious art; the Artists' House, two municipal and several private galleries, a planetarium in Europa Park, literary institutions such as the Robert Musil House, and a reputable German-literature competition awarding the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.
Klagenfurt is the home of a number of small but fine publishing houses, and several papers or regional editions are also published here including dailies such as "Kärntner Krone", "Kärntner Tageszeitung", "Kleine Zeitung".
Klagenfurt is a popular vacation spot, with mountains both to the south and north, numerous parks and a series of 23 stately homes and castles on its outskirts. In summer, the city is home to the Altstadtzauber (The Magic of the Old City) festival.
Also located here are the University of Klagenfurt, a campus of the Fachhochschule Kärnten, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, a college of education for primary and secondary teacher training and further education of teachers as well as a college of general further education (VHS) and two institutions of further professional and vocational education (WIFI and BFI). Among other Austrian educational institutions, there is a Slovene language Gymnasium (established in 1957) and a Slovene language commercial high school. Several Carinthian Slovene cultural and political associations are also based in the city, including the Hermagoras Society, the oldest Slovene publishing house founded in Klagenfurt in 1851.
A number of general high schools such as
and senior high schools offering general-cum-professional education:
The Austrian ice-hockey record-champion EC KAC is one of the best known sports clubs in Austria. The "Eishockey Club Klagenfurter Athletiksport Club" has won the Austrian Championship 30 times and its fans come from all over Carinthia. The Premier League Football club SK Austria Kärnten is based in Klagenfurt. Klagenfurt hosts the Start/Finish of the Austrian Ironman Contest, 3.8 km (2.4 mi) swim, 180 km (112 mi) cycling, and a 42 km (26 mi) run, part of the WTC Ironman series, which culminates in the Hawaii World Championships.
The World (European) Rowing Championships were held on the Wörthersee in 1969.
One of the FIVB's Beach Volleyball Grand Slams takes place in Klagenfurt every July and is almost always one of Austria's biggest celebrations during the year. Beach volleyball is popular in Austria even though the country is landlocked. Austrian players Clemens Doppler, Florian Gosch, and Alexander Horst, who are perennial European powerhouses take part every year. The 2009 champions of this tournament were the 2008 Beijing gold medal team from the US, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers.
Klagenfurt also hosted three games during the UEFA Euro 2008 Championships in the recently built Hypo-Arena. Klagenfurt was also a contender for the 2006 Winter Olympics and is home to an American Football team, the Carinthian Black Lions, competing in the First League of the Austrian Football League. The Black Lionsattract fans from all over Carinthia, playing home games in both Klagenfurt and Villach.
Klagenfurt is twinned with the following towns and cities.
Carinthia is the southernmost Austrian state or Land. Situated within the Eastern Alps, it is noted for its mountains and lakes. The main language is German. Its regional dialects belong to the Southern Bavarian group. Carinthian Slovene dialects, forms of a South Slavic language that predominated in the southeastern part of the region up to the first half of the 20th century, are now spoken by a small minority in the area.
The Carinthian plebiscite was held on 10 October 1920 in the area predominantly settled by Carinthian Slovenes. It determined the final southern border between the Republic of Austria and the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) after World War I.
The Karawanks or Karavankas or Karavanks are a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps on the border between Slovenia to the south and Austria to the north. With a total length of 120 kilometres (75 mi) in an east-west direction, the Karawanks chain is one of the longest ranges in Europe. It is traversed by important trade routes and has a great tourist significance. Geographically and geologically, it is divided into the higher Western Karawanks and the lower-lying Eastern Karawanks. It is traversed by the Periadriatic Seam, separating the Apulian tectonic plate from the Eurasian Plate.
Wörthersee is a lake in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia. The popular bathing lake is a main tourist destination in summer.
Glanfurt is a river of Carinthia, Austria.
The Glan is a river in Carinthia, Austria, a right tributary of the Gurk. It is 64.3 km (40.0 mi) long.
The Kärntner Heimatdienst is a German nationalist advocacy group in the Austrian state of Carinthia established in 1957. The KHD describes itself as a "non-party patriotic citizens' initiative". It adopts the tradition of the German-Austrian paramilitary forces during the Austrian-Slovene clashes in Carinthia in the aftermath of World War I. As an officially approved traditions association it receives direct funding by the Carinthian state.
Ferlach in the district of Klagenfurt-Land in Carinthia is the southernmost town in Austria. It is known for its centuries-old gunsmith tradition, part of the Austrian intangible cultural heritage since 2010.
Viktring Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery in the Austrian state of Carinthia. Stift Viktring is now the name of the Roman Catholic parish in Viktring, since 1973 a district of the Carinthian capital Klagenfurt.
Seeboden am Millstätter See is a market town in Spittal an der Drau District in Carinthia, Austria.
Carinthian Slovenes or Carinthian Slovenians are the indigenous minority of Slovene ethnicity, living within borders of the Austrian state of Carinthia, neighboring Slovenia. Their status of the minority group is guaranteed in principle by the Constitution of Austria and under international law, and have seats in the National Ethnic Groups Advisory Council.
Pörtschach am Wörthersee is a municipality in the district of Klagenfurt-Land in Carinthia, Austria. It is an established summer resort and lakeside town on Wörthersee.
Tamara Griesser Pečar is a Slovenian historian.
Andrej Einspieler was a Slovene politician, Roman Catholic priest and journalist, and one of the early leaders of the Old Slovene national movement in the 19th century. He was known as the "father of the Carinthian Slovenes".
Josef Winkler is an Austrian writer.
The Rosen Valley dialect is a Slovene dialect in the Carinthian dialect group. It is spoken in the Rosen Valley of Austria, west of a line from Villach to Faak am See and east of a line from Sittersdorf and Lake Klopein to Brückl, excluding the Ebriach dialect area to the southeast. Settlements in the dialect area include Wernberg, Köstenberg, Velden am Wörthersee, Ludmannsdorf, Köttmannsdorf, Viktring, Grafenstein, Tainach, and Rosegg, and Sankt Jakob im Rosental, Feistritz im Rosental, Windisch Bleiberg, Ferlach, Zell, and Gallizien.
Kladivo was a Slovene and German language cultural-political magazine published from Klagenfurt, Austria, from 1970 to 1989.
Markus von Jabornegg zu Gamsenegg und Moderndorf was an Austrian government official and botanist.
The Austro-Slovene conflict in Carinthia was a military engagement that ensued in the aftermath of the World War One between forces loyal to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and later the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and forces loyal to the Republic of German-Austria. The main theater of the conflict was the linguistically mixed region in southeastern Carinthia. The conflict was settled by the Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919, which stiupulated that the territorial dispute be resolved by a plebiscite.
Peter Kaiser is an Austrian politician of the Social Democratic Party. Since March 2013 he is governor of Carinthia and since March 2010 also chairman of the SPÖ Carinthia.
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