Klagenfurt am Wörthersee (Slovene: Celovec) is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria. It has a population of over 90,000 people, making it the sixth-largest city in the country. The city is also home to the University of Klagenfurt.
Klagenfurt is located at 446 meters above sea level and covers an area of 120.11 square km. It is on the Wörthersee as the Glan River enters it, the town also enjoys a close proximity to Slovenia and Italy. The town is surrounded by several mountains covered with forests with heights up to 1,000 meters, for example, the Ulrichsberg. To the south of here is the Karawanken mountain range which separates Carinthia from Slovenia and Italy.
It is further divided into 25 Katastralgemeinden. They are: Klagenfurt, Blasendorf, Ehrenthal, Goritschitzen, Großbuch, Großponfeld, Gurlitsch I, Hallegg, Hörtendorf, Kleinbuch, Lendorf, Marolla, Nagra, Neudorf, St. Martin bei Klagenfurt, St. Peter am Karlsberg, St. Peter bei Ebenthal, Sankt Peter am Bichl (bei Tentschach), St. Ruprecht bei Klagenfurt, Stein, Tentschach, Viktring, Waidmannsdorf, Waltendorf, and Welzenegg.
Klagenfurt has a typical Continental climate, with some slight fog throughout the autumn and winter. It is not as cold here than in other parts of Austria, due to winds coming from the Karavanke mountains to the south, through the foehn wind. The average temperature from 1961 and 1990 is 7.1 °C, while the average temperature in 2005 was 9.3 °C.
Legend has it that Klagenfurt was founded after a brave man killed a dragon ("Lindwurm") in the moors around here. A statue in the town center commemorates this. In reality, it was founded by the Count of Carinthia, Duke Herman, as a stronghold across the commercial routes in the area, it is mentioned for the first time in the late 12th century as Forum Chlagenvurth. That settlement occupied an area who was subject to frequent floods, so in 1246 his son, duke Bernhard von Spanheim founded it again in a more secure position. It received city rights in 1252.
In the following centuries it suffered fires, earthquakes, grasshopper invasions and ravages brought by the Peasants' War. In 1514 a fire destroyed the city almost completely, and Emperor Maximilian I, unable to rebuild it, ceded it to the Regional Parliament. Never before had such a thing happened. This brought a revival and an economical Renaissance for Klagenfurt, with, in particular, the construction of the Neuer Platz (new city centre square) by the Italian architect Domenico de Lalio, and a new line of walls.
In 1809 the French troops under Napoleon destroyed the city walls, leaving only a small stretch now visible. In 1863 the railway connection to St. Veit an der Glan boosted the city economy, turning it into the most important centre of the region. During WWII, the town was bombed 41 times, killing 612 people, completely destroying 443 buildings, and damaging 1,132 others. A plaque now stands over the site where the citizens of Klagenfurt were evacuated.
Klagenfurt became the first city in Austria to adapt pedestrian zones, in 1961. In 1973 Klagenfurt absorbed four adjacent municipalities, increasing its size. Klagenfurt was also a contender for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
In 2007 the city changed its official name to "Klagenfurt am Wörthersee" (i.e., Klagenfurt on Lake Wörth). Because there are no other settlements in Austria named Klagenfurt, the short name remains unambiguous.
The Old City with its central Alter Platz (Old Square) is also worth seeing. Notable landmarks include
Klagenfurt Airport is a small airport connecting to some main cities in Europe.
The city is situated at the intersection of the A2 and S37 Freeways. The A2 Freeway leads from Vienna via Graz via Klagenfurt to Villach and further to the state border of Italy. The S37 Freeway leads from Vienna via Bruck an der Mur via Sankt Veit an der Glan to Klagenfurt. Furthermore you can use the Loiblpass turnpike B91 to go to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, which is only 45 km from Klagenfurt.
Due to the inadequate public transport services in the city, the volume of traffic in Klagenfurt is extremely high (80.000 vehicles compared to a population of 100,000). In the 1960's Klagenfurt was meant to be a car-friendly town, with lots of wide roads and turnpikes. Nowadays traffic jams are very common in the morning and during midday and even though going by car is the fastest way to go from A to B.
It is a popular vacation spot with mountains to both the south and north, numerous parks and a series of 23 castles on its outskirts. In summertime the city is home to the Altstadtzauber (The Magic of the Old City) festival, Ironman Contest and the Ingeborg Bachmann Preis, a prize for German literature.
In addition to cultural attractions and activities available in and around Klagenfurt, this city has one more important attribute that must be mentioned. Klagenfurt is in a central location to many other great European destinations. In the heart of Europe, Klagenfurt is only a couple of hours from Italy, Slovenia, Vienna, Salzburg, Hungary, and much more. Local residents in Klagenfurt have the luxury of being able to access these culturally diverse regions with relative ease.
The Austrian Ice-hockey record-champion EC KAC is one of the most famous sports clubs in Austria. The "Eishockey Club Klagenfurter Athletiksport Club" has won the Austrian Championship 28 times and attracts fans from allover Carinthia. The 1st League Football clubs FC Kärnten and SK Austria Kärnten are based in Klagenfurt.
Klagenfurt hosts the Start/Finish of the Austrian Ironman Triathlon (http://www.ironmanaustria.at/en.htm), 3.8 km swim 180 km bike 42 km run, part of the WTC Ironman series, which culminates in the Hawaii World Championships.
One of the FIVB's Beach Volleyball Grand Slams is hosted in Klagenfurt.
Klagenfurt is also home to the American Football team the Carinthian Black Lions, who compete in First League of the Austrian Football League. The Black Lions attract fans from all over Kärnten, playing home games in both Klagenfurt and Villach. However, the team is based in Klagenfurt. More information on the Black Lions is available at http://www.carinthianblacklions.at/