[ source: 43044 ]

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Klagenfurt am Wörthersee (Slovene: Celovec ob Vrbskem jezeru) is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria. With a population of over 90,000, it is the sixth-largest city in the country. The city is the bishop's seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt and home to the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt.

Klagenfurt am Wörthersee (Slovene: Celovec ob Vrbskem jezeru) is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria. With a population of over 90,000, it is the sixth-largest city in the country. The city is the bishop's seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt and home to the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt.

Location

The city of Klagenfurt is located in southern Austria, midway across the nation, near the international border. It rests in the middle region, almost as far from Innsbruck, to the west, as from Vienna, to the northeast.

Klagenfurt is elevated 446 m (1,463 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 120.11 km2 (46.4 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 is the Karawanken mountain range, which separates Carinthia from Slovenia and Italy.

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Klagenfurt

Legend has it that Klagenfurt was founded after a couple of brave men had slain the abominable "Lindwurm", a winged dragon in the moors adjoining the lake, the staple diet of which is said to have been virgins, but which did not spurn the 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 Turks, 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 burgers, 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 of 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 the city an imposing central station (destroyed in World War II) and made Klagenfurt the absolute 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,[10] 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 killing 612 people, completely destroying 443 buildings, and damaging 1,132 others. 110,000 cubic metres of rubble had to be removed before the citizens could set about rebuilding their city.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Klagenfurt am Wörthersee (Slovene: Celovec ob Vrbskem jezeru) is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria. With a population of over 90,000, it is the sixth-largest city in the country. The city is the bishop's seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt and home to the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt.

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