City of Klagenfurt in Austria: attractions, photos and history
In this article we will talk about the city of Klagenfurt, the capital of the Carinthian region in Austria. The city is rich in sights, despite its small size, because its population is only 95,000 people. We will talk in parallel about the interesting places in Klagenfurt and about the city itself and its history.
According to legend, the city was founded by several heroes in honor of the killing of the dragon in the surrounding swamps. In German culture the dragon is called Lindworm, and in its appearance and extremely uncultured behavior does not differ from dragons in the pan-European view.
This event is dedicated to the first attraction of Klagenfurt, about which we will tell. It is a monument-fountain "Lindworm fountain", which was installed on the city square in 1593 year.
In the beginning, the fountain consisted only of a dragon, and in 1633 a statue of Hercules was added to it. We still have not figured out how Hercules relates to killing this dragon. The only sane version says that Hercules is a symbol of courage, strength and valor that allows you to fight evil. Several other photos of this fountain you will find in the gallery to this article .
The real story of the city's appearance is much simpler and more understandable. The city was founded in 1246, by this time this place was the intersection of trade routes, and nearby there was a small fortress. The task of the garrison of the fortress was to fight the bandits, which there was plenty, and the fort served as a transit point for merchants.
The only drawback of this defensive structure was its unfortunate location, the fortress constantly flooded. In 1246, the Duke Bernhard von Spanheim moved the outpost to a new place, and now the city of Klagenfurt stands here. It took several years for the new fortress to grow in size and become a city.
Duke is the official founder of the city, and in one of the squares you can find his statue. The statue is also a fountain, in the photo on the left the lower part of the monument with the fountain is simply not visible. More photos of this monument can be found in our photo gallery .
The city grew and developed, although it experienced great fires, invasions of the Turks, peasant uprisings and many other disasters. With the attacks of the Ottoman Empire, another attraction is connected, which is located 8 kilometers from the city. It is the castle of Hochosterwitz, located on a cliff 160 meters high. He was besieged many times, but they could not take it. About him, read our detailed review .
At this time, the main square of the city (Alter Platz) and the town hall, which is now called the "old town hall" (Altes Rathaus), was built, as the city authorities moved to the new building.
In total, there are two administrative centers in the city. New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) and the Palace of Estates (Landhaus). For tourists, first of all the palace of estates is interesting, since it houses a museum of the Carinthian emblems, and you can immediately see the hall of meetings of the local parliament, and even sit for deputy seats.
In the hall of arms there are collected 665 family symbols of the famous families of the duchy of Carinthia, portrayed in the Baroque style. In the photo above you see only one of the walls of the hall. Of course, we could not take pictures of all the coats of arms, but most of them you can see in our photo gallery .
Also in this building is the parliament of the region. If you visited Klagenfurt at the moment when the parliamentarians are on vacation, you will be able to look at their meeting room.
The main relic of the palace of estates is this object, which you see in the photo on the right. Guess what it is?
Anyone who thought that this fragment of the ancient column is absolutely right. But those who suggested that this is something more, also made the right assumption.
This is indeed a fragment of the antique column of the Roman period, which served in the Middle Ages as a throne for the coronation of the Dukes of Carinthia. This is one of the historical symbols of the province, and the authorities of neighboring Slovenia even depicted it on coins, more about this we wrote in our review about money in Austria .
The center of the religious life of Klagenfurt is St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral, which we described in detail in a separate review. The cathedral was built in 1578, and now it is the main temple of the region and the cathedral of the local Catholic diocese. In our article about the Klagenfurt cathedral you will find a detailed story about it.
Like all cities, Klagenfurt has twin cities. On one of the squares of the city there is a special place, where the coats of arms of sister cities are laid out on paving stones.
Among them, the city of Tarragona in Spain, Rzeszow in Poland, Zalaegerszeg in Hungary, Nanning in China and others. Most of all, the brotherhood with the Chinese Nanning is surprising. Given that the Chinese city has a population of about 6.5 million people, and Klagenfurt only 95 thousand, it is quite difficult to call them brothers.
Below you will find a small gallery with the coats of arms of these cities.
Another interesting attraction of the city is the "plague column" (German pestsäule). Do not be afraid of this name, it does not spread disease.
There are many such columns all over Europe. They were put in cities every time after the epidemic of the plague, as gratitude to the divine forces for deliverance from the terrible disaster. The first such column appeared in Italy, and it laid the foundation for this tradition.
The epidemic passed through Europe in 1680, and this column was built in 1690. It is unique, as it is not only a "plague column", but also a triumphal column at the same time.
If you look closely, you will see a Christian cross and a fallen crescent on top, a symbol of victory in the war against the Turks.
In 1683 the troops of the Ottoman Empire besieged Vienna, but were defeated. Detailed photos of all the parts of the column you can see in our photo gallery .
Another very interesting and unique monument in Klagenfurt is the bronze statue of Empress Maria Theresa. It is unique in that it is the only major monument to the Queen Mother in Austria, where she is depicted standing up.
On all other monuments Maria Theresa sits. So she wanted herself, because she believed that she did not have a very good figure. The most famous monument to Marie Theresie is sitting in Vienna near the Hofburg Palace .
In all her life, she gave birth to 16 children, among whom the emperors of Austria, Joseph I and Leopold II, Empress of France Maria Antoinette (executed during the great French revolution).
Maria Theresa is famous not only as a queen mother, but also as a reformer. She made significant changes in the management system of the empire, during her reign, art, education and culture flourished.
This is the second bronze statue, and the first version was made of lead.
Another famous place in the world in Klagenfurt is the MiniMundus miniature park, which we described in detail in this article .
And of course, one of the main attractions of the capital of Carinthia is Lake Wörthersee. Every year in May, the Mayor of Klagenfurt sails on a boat to the middle of the lake and drinks water from it to show that the water in Wörthersee has remained the same clean. Thus, he opens the swimming season on the lakes of Carinthia .
Of course, our list of attractions in Klagenfurt is not complete, but we told you about all the most interesting. See our photo gallery and read other articles about Austria on our website ( links below ).
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