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Villach
Villach (view towards the south).jpeg
Coat of arms Location
Coat of arms of Villach
Villach is located in Austria
Administration
Country  Austria
State Carinthia
District Statutory city
Mayor Helmut Manzenreiter (SPÖ)
Basic statistics
Area 134.89 km2 (52.1 sq mi)
Elevation 501 m  (1644 ft)
Population  58,480  (31 December 2006)[1]
 - Density 434 /km² (1,123 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate VI
Postal code 9500
Area code 04242
Website www.villach.at
Location of Villach within Carinthia
Location of Villach within Carinthia

Coordinates: 46°36′53″N 13°50′46″E / 46.61472°N 13.84611°E / 46.61472; 13.84611

Villach (German pronunciation: [ˈfɪlax]; Italian: Villaco, Slovene: Beljak) is the second largest city in Carinthia in the south of Austria, at the Drava River and represents an important traffic junction for Austria and the whole Alpe-Adria region. As of December 2006, the population is 58,480.[1]

Contents

History

Near the center of Villach

The oldest human traces found in Villach date back to 3500 BC. Many Roman artifacts have been discovered in the city, as it was near an important Roman road called the Römerweg. A document mentions a bridge in what is today Villach in 878, and the settlement across the bridge was given market town status in 1060, though Villach is first mentioned in records in 1240. Villach's first mayor took office in the 16th century.

On January 25, 1348, an earthquake destroyed a large part of Villach, followed by another earthquake in 1690. There were also several fires in Villach, which destroyed many buildings.

In 1759 Empress Maria Theresa of Austria formally purchased Villach, as well as much of Carinthia. During the Napoleonic Wars, Villach was part of the Illyrian provinces of the French Empire from 1809 until 1813.

The Südbahn railway finally reached Villach in 1864, providing growth and expansion.

During the period of the German Anschluss (1938-45) when Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany, the mayor of Villach was Oskar Kraus, an enthusiastic Nazi.[2] A memorial for the 1919 border conflict caused controversy when it was inaugurated in 2002, as Kraus, who had not been especially prominent in the conflict, was the only person named.[3]

During World War II, allied forces bombed Villach 37 times. About 42,500 bombs killed 300 people and damaged 85% of the buildings. Nevertheless the city quickly recovered.[4]

Today, Villach is a bustling city with commerce and recreation, yet it retains its historic background.

Geography

Villach railway station.

Geographical position

The city is located west of the Klagenfurt Basin at the confluence of the Drau and the Gail Rivers. Nearby countries are Slovenia with a direct line to the border of 11 km (6.8 mi) and Italy with a distance of 14.5 km (9 mi) respectively. Slovenia could be accessed via the Karawanken Autobahn (A11) and the Karawanken Tunnel, Italy by the Süd Autobahn (A2).

The municipal area borders on or surrounds several lakes, including Lake Ossiach, Lake Faak, Silbersee, Vassacher See, Magdalensee, and St. Leonharder See.

Villach is surrounded by mountains of the Alps which are used for skiing in winter and hiking in summer.

Villach
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
47
 
1
-6
 
 
47
 
5
-5
 
 
66
 
11
-1
 
 
83
 
15
3
 
 
96
 
20
8
 
 
121
 
23
11
 
 
134
 
26
13
 
 
111
 
25
13
 
 
102
 
21
9
 
 
106
 
15
5
 
 
102
 
7
-1
 
 
61
 
2
-5
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: ZAMG

Structure

The following sections belong to Villach:

  • Bogenfeld, Dobrova, Drautschen, Drobollach am Faaker See, Duel, Egg am Faaker See, Goritschach, Graschitz, Gratschach, Greuth, Gritschach, Großsattel, Großvassach, Heiligen Gestade, Heiligengeist, Kleinsattel, Kleinvassach, Kratschach, Kumitz, Landskron, Maria Gail, Mittewald ober dem Faaker See, Mittewald ob Villach, Neufellach, Neulandskron, Obere Fellach, Oberfederaun, Oberschütt, Oberwollanig, Pogöriach, Prossowitsch, Rennstein, Serai, St. Andrä, St. Georgen, St. Leonhard, St. Magdalen, St. Michael, St. Niklas an der Drau, St. Ruprecht, St. Ulrich, Tschinowitsch, Turdanitsch, Untere Fellach, Unterfederaun, Unterschütt, Unterwollanig, Urlaken, Villach-Auen, Villach-Innere Stadt, Villach-Lind, Villach-Seebach-Wasenboden, Villach-St. Agathen und Perau, Villach-St. Martin, Villach-Völkendorf, Villach-Warmbad-Judendorf, Weißenbach, Zauchen

In 1905 a part of the municipal area St. Martin was incorporated. In 1973 the city area was further enlarged through the incorporation of Landskron, Maria Gail and Fellach.

Politics

Municipal council

The municipal council (Gemeinderat) consists of 45 members, with the mayor as president, and following the 2009 elections is composed of:[5]

City government

The city government of Villach (Stadtsenat) consists of seven members. It is chaired by the mayor, who is directly elected by the people. The other members—two vice-mayors and four town councillors—are appointed by the municipal council, with party affiliations according to the election results.

  • Mayor Helmut Manzenreiter, SPÖ
  • First vice-mayor Karl-Heinz Evers, SPÖ
  • Second vice-mayor Mag. Gerda Sandriesser, SPÖ
  • Councillor Mag. Hilde Schaumberger, SPÖ
  • Councillor Harald Sobe, SPÖ
  • Councillor Walter Lang, FPÖ
  • Councillor LAbg. KR Helmut Hinterleitner, ÖVP

In the March 2009 elections, Helmut Manzenreiter, mayor since 1987,[6] was reelected with 56.89 per cent of the votes cast.[5]

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Villach is twinned with:

Festivals

There are several festivals throughout the year:

  • The carnival in Villach (which starts on November 11 and ends on March 4)
  • The arts and crafts festival (with self made goods)
  • The New Orleans festival
  • The streets-art festival (displays performances of artists and singers)
  • The "Villacher Kirchtag" (a kermis spanning a whole week in summer and ends on August's first Saturday with a notorious fireworks show)
  • Performances on a stage beside the Drau

Notable citizens

References

  1. ^ a b "Einwohnerzahl und Komponenten der Bevölkerungsentwicklung (Population and Components of Population Growth)" (in German) (pdf). Statistik Österreich (English Version). 2007-11-29. http://www.statistik.at/blickgem/pr1/g20201.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-27.  
  2. ^ Lisa Rettl, Werner Koroschitz, "Ein korrekter Nazi: Oskar Kraus, ns-oberbürgermeister von Villach", Drava (2006), ISBN 3-85435-501-7
  3. ^ ORF Kärnten, "Oskar Kraus - ein korrekter Nazi" (German)
  4. ^ "Luftkrieg (aerial warfare) "Ostmark"" (in German). www.airpower.at. Martin Rosenkranz. 2003-08-13. http://www.airpower.at/news03/0813_luftkrieg_ostmark/statistik.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-18.  
  5. ^ a b Wahlergebnisse 2009
  6. ^ Unser Bürgermeister - Helmut Manzenreiter personal website (in German)

Gallery

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Villach [1] is a town located in Carinthia in Austria. It has about 60,000 inhabitants.

Understand

Villach is the second-largest city of Carinthia. It is a railway gateway to most parts of Austria as well as the Italian border. In Austria Villach is well-known for its carnival which is broadcast on public television throughout Austria. Villach is quite an old city with roots back in Roman times (when the city was called Santicum).The city was heavily bombed in World War II (due to its importance as a major traffic gateway) destroying many parts of the city.

Villach from Villacher Alpenstrasse
Villach from Villacher Alpenstrasse

Get in

By plane

Villach has no domestic or international airport. If you are travelling by plane you have to go to Klagenfurt (40 kilometers from Villach) which has an airport.

By train

Villach is a railway gateway within Austria, so trains go from virtually every bigger city including Vienna, Graz,Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Linz, Innsbruck and Bregenz. There are also direct connections to Munich, Venice, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade.

By car

If you are coming from north, take the A10 Tauernautobahn. If you are coming from east (Graz,Vienna) take the A2 Südautobahn. If you are planning to go from Slovenia, take the A11 Karawankenautobahn. If you are arriving from Italy also take the A2 Südautobahn. The motorway around Villach has two exits at Faakersee which takes you to the centre of the city and Ossiachersee which takes you to the north of the city.

Get around

Villach is a quite small town, so it is easy to get around on foot. Taxis can be found near the railway station and in the centre of the city near Hauptplatz. Federal buses go to the surrounding area from the local Busbahnhof (busterminal,located a few minutes away from the railway station). Local busline no.10 (operated by a company called Kowatsch) goes around the historic city centre. Getting around by car can be tiring since parking space is rare during weekdays and traffic jams at business hours are very common. During weekdays parking fees are charged in most areas around the center of the city.

  • Villacher Fahrzeugmuseum - has antiquities which are worth seeing.
  • Museum der Stadt Villach - if you are interested in the history of the town go there. The museum has a nice expo on minerals, mining and all kinds of Villacher History. Nice to visit for some background info on the town of Villach. Time to visit approx. 1 hour. Widmanngasse 38.
  • Landskron Castle - the remains of the old fortress of Landskron are on the top of a hill, 676 m high. A great part of the castle was destroyed by a fire in the 19th century, but some parts are still there and a few halls can be visited. There is also a restaurant, and every Tuesday evening there is a special "medieval" dinner served by waiters dressed in period costumes. The view from the castle is wonderful. From here you can see Villach and the valley of the river Drau with its lakes, and the Slovenian Alps on the other side of the valley.
  • Falconry in Landskron Castle - A section of the castle is now the home of several birds of prey. They can be seen in their cages, but even better is to see them fly, which is possible two or three times a day, according to the season and to the weather. The demonstrations last about 40 minutes, and the explanation on the birds and their behavior is in German only, but even those who cannot understand a word can enjoy watching eagles, hawks, kites, and owls fly just above their heads.
  • The bell tower of St Jakob - The church of St Jakob (the parish church of Villach) has an impressive bell tower, 94 metres high. It is the tallest in Carinthia and its present appearance and height dates back to 1847. Visitors can climb the 239 steps to the top and enjoy the wonderful view.
  • Krimmler Waterfall - On the border of Kärnten and Tirol is the Krimmler Waterfall, the largest of Austria. A magnificent roundtrip is to first take the Gross-Glockner hochalpenstrasse (pass) that brings you as well along the highest mountain of the country. From here towards the Zillertal and over the Gerloss-pass to the waterfall. Then back to Kärnten.
  • Thermen Resort - The heated pools of Villach. Here, there are slides, vortex pools, and hot tubs for you to enjoy. Or, you can relax on the chairs outside of the pool. There is a restaurant inside and a spa for a little extra cost. The regular entrance was 7.90 Euro and is good for 3 hours.
  • Museum of Doll Art - Collectors and doll lovers of dolls will be overwhelmed by this museum. They show porcellan, vinyl and wooden dolls made by famous artists. Some of these dolls are manufactured in the own studio. In the basement premises they exhibit all different kinds of craftswork like glass objects, pottery, flowers and certainly a great variety of special dolls. Vassacher Strasse 65.
  • Villacher Alpenstrasse - This almost 20 km alpine road takes you up to Dobratsch mountain and ends on 1.732 m. Who wants to visit the top still has a bit of climbing to do! The top of Mount Dobratsch is at 2.167 m high.
  • Maibacherl - located in Warmbad near Villach. A hot spring, which only appears in springtime. The water is hot enough for bathing and is very popular with the locals. Entry is free. Buses and trains operate from the main station to Warmbad on a regular base. The hot springs were already known to the ancient Romans. Take bus No.1 from main station to Warmbad and get off in Warmbad. From there it's only a 10min walk to the hot springs.
  • Hiking - Villach is surrounded by a number of mountains including the Dobratsch which offer many possibilities for hiking.
  • Cross-country skiing - Cross-country skiing is possible on Dobratsch and all major ski resorts around Villach.
  • ice-skating - Ice-skating is possible on Faakersee,Ossiachersee and Vassacher See though this depends heavily on the weather in winter whether lakes are frozen or not.
  • Villacher Kirchtag - Every year (usually the first week in august) the city celebrates Villacher Kirchtag with a big amusement park. The city can get very crowded in this week with as many as 50.000 visitors, especially from italy.
  • Jazz over Villach - a Jazz festival in the middle of July ocated on Gernottenhöhe in Judendorf .
  • Kanzianiberg is one of the best natural climbing walls in Austria. There are hundreds of colour-coded climbing routes at all levels, and on sunny days the vista is stunning. The maximum height difference is approx. 60 m. Kanzianiberg can be accessed by bus or bicycle (30 min from Villach) or car (15 min).
  • Alpe Adria Golf is one of the best 19 hole golf places in the area with stunning views from every hole. Located in Finkenstein, a merely 10 minute drive from Villach
  • Faakersee is said to be the lake featuring the cleanest water (drink water quality) in Europe. Tranquille area without those disturbing motorboats. There are some free beaches, but the better ones have to be paid for (usually no more than 4 euro). All beaches are nicely laid out with large grass fields. Getting to the Faakersee in the village of Faak is about 10 minutes away from Villach

Buy

If you want to go shopping stick to the Hauptplatz and the centre area of the city. A bit outside of Villach (along Mariagailerstrasse) you will find an area with many shopping malls. These malls are far apart, so it's better to go by car or bus there. Buses to Mariagailerstrasse go from the local Busbahnhof ( a bus terminal ) which is located a few minutes away from the central railway station. In 2007 a huge shopping centre (atrio) has been opened. It has about 80 shops!

  • Cafe Paragraf, Peraustr.18, Tel.+43664 4827174 - has cheap menus around €5,50 from 11.30 to 14.00 o`clock. Outdoor restaurant area!
  • Brauhof Villach, Bahnhofsstrasse 8, Tel.242220 - has traditional Carinthian food and is run by the local brewery.
  • Trastevere - Widmanngasse 30, Tel. 215665 - lovely interior, italian-style kitchen renowned for the fish.
  • Kaufmann & Kaufmann,Dietrichsteingasse 5, Tel.25871 - Italian-style kitchen, it is recommended to book in advance.
  • Gasthof "Genottenhöhe" ,Genottehöhe Straße 40, Tel.379 18 genottehoehe@aon.at - serves traditional carinthian food and is located on a hill in Judendorf.
  • Pizza place Dobner" just outside the innercity has arguably the best pizza's in Carinthia (but also other Italian food). Very crowded place, so make sure to make a reservation in advance. In the summer they also open the terraces with fantastic panorama. Dobrovastrasse 3 - Villach Tel. +43 (0)4242 32251

Drink

If you want to go out in the evening go for Hauptplatz and the numerous small avenues that start there. You'll find various small pubs and cafes such as

  • Turmstüberl Anton Tuder Straße 2, Tel.37875 - a small, atmospheric pub where the locals go. If you are travelling in a group you should book a table in advance.
  • Tostenwirt Lederergasse 25 - a nice place if you want to try the locally brewed Malzbier. (a special blend of beer). They serve meals as well.
  • Soho Bar Freihausgasse 13 - a cosy cocktail bar with a large amount of available cocktails.
  • Lücke - an athmospheric pub
  • Stern Kaiser Josef Platz 5 - a nice cocktail bar and restaurant
  • Flaschl Seilergasse 1 - a lively pub
  • Parkcafe Moritschstraße 2 - stylish cafe.
  • Koloini Konditorei Ossiacher Zeile 72 -
  • Stern Kaiser-Josef-Platz 5 -
  • Urbani Meerbothstraße 22 - good plain cooking. Seasonally changing menu.

Stay safe

Villach, as most Austrian cities are, safe to wander around. There will be occasional drunk people during festivities, but police visibility are evident. It is advisable to take precausionary measures when traveling, just the same as traveling other european cities

Sleep

Villach has a large variety of both - low and high-budget hotels. Some addresses are:

  • Jugendherberge Villach - A youth hostel is available in Villach-St. Martin, Dinzlweg 34. Tel.56368, [2] Single beds are available for €17, a double costs €42.The centre of the city can be easily reached on foot.(about 10min walk)
  • Pension Egger St. Martinerstrasse 19 Tel. 56338 Just opposite to the Youth Hostel (about 10min walk to the city centre). Single rooms start at €18. (breakfast included)
  • Hotel Goldenes Lamm - Hauptplatz 1, Tel. 24105 - nice hotel, above Wienerwald Restaurant. Doubles start at €57 (breakfast included). Lower prices apply before and after high season
  • Romantik Hotel Post - Hauptplatz 26, Tel.26101 - pretty scenic, old hotel (built in the 16th century) in the centre of the city. This is one of the best (and therefor upper-price) hotels in Villach. Doubles are available from €80 to €140. Single beds are available from €70 to €90.

There is a tourist information centre at Rathausplatz 1 which will assist you with finding accommodation.

  • If you want to get out, try Faaker See, a beautiful lake a few kilometers outside of Villach. Faaker See is one of the warmest lakes in Austria with water temperatures around 27 degrees during summer. Faaker See can be reached by bus or train. Trains go to Faak am See (the ride takes about 20min) from the main station (during weekdays there is a train every two hours), a lido is only 10min away from the local train station.
Faakersee and Dobratsch from Taborhöhe
Faakersee and Dobratsch from Taborhöhe
  • Schütt located in the south of mountain Dobratsch, an area with huge stone rocks, which are parts of Dobratsch itself after an earthquake back in the 14th century caused half of the mountain to fall into the surrounding area.
  • Gerlitzen is a mountain and small ski resort located half an hour from Villach. The skiing is nothing special but Gerlitzen offers some of the best vistas in Austria. On clear days almost the whole of Carinthia can be seen from this mountain top. You can either drive up (take care in winter) or take the cable car. From the parking space/cable car station it's a hour's walk to the summit. The cable car station at the mountain's base at Annenheim can be reached by bus or train, though connections are poor.
  • Burgruine Finkenstein the scenic remains of a castle built in the 12th century. Has great views. Today it is used as location for musical events.
  • The Soca/Isonzo valley in Slovenia is about an hour's drive from Villach over the Predil mountain pass via Italy. Its deep limestone gorges offer a spectacular scenery and its emerald-coloured rivers are famed for some of the best kayaking and white whater rafting in Europe. Since the Soca valley is actually easier to reach from Villach and Klagenfurt than Ljubljana (Slovenia's capital) it's well worth a day trip if you're hanging around Carinthia for longer. Head for the town Bovec, the touristic centre of the Soca valley.

Contact

Local area code is 4242.

Cafeteria nikolai Nikolaigasse 16 (about 10min away from central square), Tel. 22511, an internet cafe which serves food and drinks.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VILLACH, a town in Carinthia, Austria, 24 m. W. of Klagenfurt by rail. Pop. (1900) 9690. It is situated on the Drave, near its confluence with the Gail, in a broad fertile basin at the foot of the Dobratsch or Villacher Alp (7107 ft.). The parish church is an interesting Gothic edifice of the 15th century. The principal industry of Villach consists in the fabrication of various lead wares, and is mostly dependent on the lead mines of Bleiberg, which is situated about 9 m. to the west. This village (pop. 3435) is one of the richest lead-mining centres in Europe. The ores found here comprise silver-free galena, sulphate of zinc and calamine. The mines were already worked during the middle ages. Warmbad Villach, a watering-place with hot sulphur baths, and Mittewald, a favourite summer resort, whence the ascent of the Dobratsch can be made, are in the neighbourhood of Villach. Some of the prettiest Carinthian lakes are to be found near Villach, as the Ossiacher-see, on whose southern shore stands the ruined castle of Landskron, dating from the middle of the 16th century, the Wdrther-see and the small but lovely Faaker-see.

Villach is an old town, which was given by Heinrich II. to the bishopric of Bamberg in 1007. During the middle ages it was an important centre of commerce between Germany and Italy. With the advent of new trade routes at the beginning of modern times the town lost its importance, and in 1745 the citizens nearly decided to emigrate en masse. Its trade revived during the French occupation of 1809-13, and it continued to improve during the 19th century. The Turks were defeated here in 1492 by Maximilian I., and an engagement between the Austrians and the French took place here on the 21st of August 1813.


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