Things to see and do - Klagenfurt
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Around Klagenfurt :
Nearby tourist sites
Around KlagenfurtBy car, 70 km, 2 days
The old town of Klagefurt proudly displays its 800 years of history, for instance Maria Saal fortified church where Saint Modestus, so called Apostole of Carinthia, preached in the second half of the 8C. The church of St Veit an der Glan (seat of the court of the Dukes of Carinthia until the 16C) rose up in the 13C. In the area, don't miss the fortified castle of Frauenstein and the Gurk cathedral, masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
16C mansions with Baroque façades and Renaissance arcaded courtyards give this square special character. The Old Town Hall is attractive because of its Renaissance doorway and three-tiered arcaded courtyard. On the western side, the square is closed by the "House of the Golden Goose", while on the southwest corner stands the Goess mansion with a Baroque façade. A network of small streets lead off the square, such as the Wiener Gasse, lined by the Ossiacher Hof with fine inner courtyards.
Begun by the Lutherans in 1578, the cathedral was later attributed to the Jesuits who extended the choir and added chapels. After a fire in 1723, the interior was decorated with Baroque stuccowork, which enhances the nave's brightness. Note the high-altar painting, magnificent pulpit by Christoph Rudolph, and Apotheosis of St John of Nepomuk by Joseph Fromiller. More than a dozen types of marble give beautiful tones to the side altars.
The Landhaus' ceremonial room or Great Blazon Hall, was decorated by Joseph Fromiller in the 18C. This master of Baroque painting produced the fine ceiling fresco showing members of the States of Carinthia paying homage to Emperor Karl VI (1728). He also painted most of the 665 coats of arms, covering the walls and window embrasures that belonged to the powerful men sitting in the Regional Parliament from 1591 to 1848.
The Diocesan Museum aims to give a good general picture of religious art in Carinthia, covering all fields: jewellery, tapestry and embroidery, sculpture, painting, stained glass. Next to appealing folk art specimens, there are outstanding works of art, like a 12C processional cross (iron with traces of gilding) or the precious Magdalen window, from 1170, the oldest in Austria but strikingly modern in style.
Carinthia's oldest Mining Museum lies in former Kreuzbergl air-raid shelters. Numerous rare and valuable exhibits illustrate local mining history. As in a treasure room, the finest and biggest local mineral samples are on display, including an enormous one-metre-high chunk of cairngorm weighing about 200 kg. Charming botanical gardens end this visit.
The pilgrimage church of Maria Saal cuts a fine figure with its twin tuff towers and greenish sandstone-tiled roof. Note its exterior Romanesque ossuary and baptistry. The surprising Roman low reliefs and splendid Keutschach tombstone are incorporated into the church walls. The late-Gothic interior houses, among other valuable works, the sumptuous Arndorf altarpiece and tomb of St Modestus.
Take the scenic road up the flanks of the Magdalensberg to enjoy beautiful glimpses of the Klagenfurt basin and the Karawanken. An Archeological Park and excavations expose traces of a former Roman town that was the Eastern Alps' political and economic centre on the site of an even older village. From the top of the mount stands a Gothic pilgrimage chapel offering a majestic panorama.
This early-13C church dedicated to St Guy has a vault with intersecting ribs and a Chapel of St Bernard added in the 15C. The late-Baroque high altar and pulpit are by Johann Pacher, a local wood carver. The north side of the choir has 15C frescoes that were rediscovered in 1959. To the south of the church, stands a round Romanesque ossuary, with an unusual Carolingian stone fragment near the portal.
From Spring to Autumn, the Hauptplatz is a sea of flowers and retains a unique character, with its old houses and monuments. Next to the traditional Plague Column, stands the Key Fountain, topped by a small bronze figure, the "Schlüsselbrunnbartele", which has become the town mascot. The square's other fountain is dedicated to Walther von der Vogelweide, the most famous German troubadour, who lived at the local duke's court.
This fortress stands in the middle of the countryside, beyond the village of Obermühlbach and more than 5 km from St. Veit an der Glan. It is a pleasant finishing point for a stroll, with an evocative complex of massive towers, as well as turrets and roofs of unequal height. Note the attractive inner arcaded courtyard.
Gurk Cathedral is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture that remained almost forgotten before being rediscovered in the late 19C. Its works of art include the exterior West Porch foliage decoration, interior Episcopal Chapel Romanesque murals, the Crypt with 100 pillars and Gothic or Renaissance frescoes adorned by Baroque furnishings whose lines are outstandingly fresh.