If you like castles and ruins, Klagenfurt is just the right place to enjoy a castle stroll. The town is surrounded by a total of twenty-three well-kept and fantastically restored castles of all shapes and sizes. Many of them were built around the 12th century with splendiferous knights’ halls, pinnacles, towers and dreamy parks. If one would like to stay overnight in a real castle and be served like a king – there is no problem! St. Georgen am Sandhof is a castle boasting a four star hotel and Hallegg Castle is a 3-star hotel. Many of the castles have been brought back to live and one can rediscover long-forgotten times.
Klagenfurt Old Town
Look and let your senses enjoy life to the fullest while discovering the over eight hundred years old history of Klagenfurt during one of the Old Town walks. Various Italian master builders put their mark on the historic part of the town with their grand Renaissance buildings and impressive house fronts, which have been renewed in this architectural style. There are some beautiful strolling possibilities – from lovely, sunny squares to narrow alleyways and shady arcaded courtyards with majestic fountains. Discover farmer’s market, designer boutiques and little antique shops. Klagenfurt has to offer both a historic and animated attractions. Don’t miss and the impressive town hall, which was built back in 1650. It is really simple and enjoyable to discover the old part of the town by yourself – just by following the green markings on the ground.
It’s not necessary to be a saint in order to be delighted by the history and beauty of sacral buildings. One can take part in the many Church Walks in and around Klagenfurt. There are unbelievable fifty-six churches and chapels, including precious gems of sacral architecture such as the cathedral in Klagenfurt, the oldest church with pilasters, just waiting to be discovered. There is the “St. Peter am Bichl” filial church, built in 1399, with its majestic Romanesque glass windows and Carolingian pediments, and the parish church of “Maria vom Siege” in Viktring which was completed in the distant 1202. This church is the only remaining instance of Burgundian Cistercian architecture in the entire German-speaking region. One shouldn’t miss visiting the Diocesan Museum, where will find the most significant collection of sacral art dating back to various ages. And especially the “Magdalenenscheibe” - the oldest remaining glass pane in Austria, dating back to 1160.
Northwest of Klagenfurt is located the Ossiacher Lake. This lake is about eleven kilometers long and is the province’s third-largest lake. Its water temperature during the summer is the comfortable 26 degrees C. The lake is surrounded by little villages that became resorts by attracting summer visitors to come to enjoy the sun and the water.
Ossiach is a tiny resort on the south side of the lake, but it is still the biggest settlement on the Ossiacher See. Ossiach has an eleventh century Benedictine abbey that was reconstructed in the 1500s. However, the abbey was dissolved about a century ago and now the events of the Carinthian Summer Festival take place here. Other lovely resorts include Sattendorf and Treffen, which are situated on the lake’s north side and are open all year-round. Here one can enjoy the pure mountain air and wander along alpine meadows and deep into the forest. Except the fresh and crystal waters of the Ossiacher Lake, visitors can enjoy and various indoor pools.
Lake Worther (Worthersee)
The lake with elongated shape is about twenty kilometers long and 1-2 kilometers wide, stretching from the Carinthian capital Klagenfurt, at its Eastern end to Velden at its Western end. To the north and south it is covered with dense forests, beyond which snowy alpine summits are visible. The lake’s water is very fresh and crystal transparent. In the beginning of the 19th century the shores were home only to a handful of peasants and later the construction of the southern railway line, the Sudbahn, in the middle of the same century quickly turned the Worthersee into an exceptional summer retreat for Vienna's nobility. The beautiful Mediterranean climate and pure water made it a preferred tourist resort in summer.
At this museum one can see various Roman artifacts, featuring some votive stones, gleaned from excavations in Carinthia. Exhibits display art and artifacts from prehistoric times to the present. The most notable feature is an exhibition of ecclesiastical art. Here one can behold the skull of a rhinoceros, said to have been a model for the famous Dragon Fountain in Neuer Platz.
Initialy an arsenal and later Carinthian state headquarters, this edifice now houses the offices of the provincial government. The building of the structure was started in 1574 and finished in 1590. The courtyard of the current structure has two story arcades and a set of staircase towers. The Grosser Wappensaal (Great Blazon Hall), dating from 1739, was lavishly decorated by Josef Ferdinand Fromiller and the painting on the hall's ceiling depicts six hundred sixty-five heraldic shields.
Other interesting attractions worth visiting and not far away include: The Rathaus (Town Hall), Hochosterwitz Castle, The Excavations at Magdalensberg, The Cathedral of Gurk, Friesach, Maria Saal, The Vellach Valley, Lake Klopeiner, Trögerner Gorge, The nearby resorts of Sattendorf, Annenheim and Treffen, Kanzelhöhe, and more.
Also you may want to visit the Klagenfurt Tourist Information and Klagenfurt Transportation.