Klagenfurt travel guide
Klagenfurt is Austria’s most southerly provincial capital; sitting on the eastern shore of Lake Wörthesee by the Glan River and surrounded by hills and mountains. It is Austria’s sixth largest city and competes with the best for natural beauties and interesting historical buildings and sites make it a popular city for tourism as our Klagenfurt travel guide will reveal.
During the early part of the first millennium Klagenfurt suffered several almost biblical style catastrophes, including earthquakes, fires and a locust invasion, requiring the city to be rebuilt. This may explain why it has two town squares, the newest of which (Neuer Platz) was built way back in the 16th century. It is here you will find the famous monument of Lindwurm, the winged dragon which enjoyed feasting on young virgins. This is Klagenfurt’s symbol as it was the destruction of this great beast which led to the founding of the city. At the west end of the square is another notable statue, that of Empress Maria Theresia of the House of Hapsburg.
In the old town square is the Rosenberg Palace, also built around 1600, and with a decidedly Italian feel. It served at one time as the town hall and though the exterior might not be spectacular, its inner courtyard certainly is, with its extremely pretty ornate balconies. An even older structure is Landhaus, an elegant twin towered Renaissance building used as the council house.
St Egid Stadhauptpfarrkirche is another of those gems with a deceptive facade. This 600 year old church has an exquisite interior with is ceiling and wall frescoes. You can also ascend the tower near to the belfry for a great view out over the town.
A short distance from Klagenfurt but certainly worth the journey is the mediaeval Hochosterwitz Castle, situated high on a rocky hilltop and accessible by cable car, if you cannot face the walk, though this is well worth the effort as it takes you through 14 old sentry gates. Once at the top, apart from the fascinations of the impregnable castle, you can enjoy the most stunning views imaginable from numerous different vantage points.
If you really cannot face the trek to the castle, you can see it in miniature at Klagenfurt’s Minimus. This is a great family day out, enabling you to explore the world in miniature and also includes fascinating and complete little structures of such sites as the Taj Mahal and Tower of London. Another delightful place for the family is the Zauberworld enchanted wood. There are pleasant woodland walks with delightful surprises as you encounter favourite fairytale figures en route. There is also a theatre with live performances. From all of these, it should be clear to see that Klagenfurt can hold its own as far as tourist attractions are concerned.