(Kärnten, Koroška) is the southernmost Austrian state
. Situated within the Eastern alps
it is chiefly famous for its mountains and lakes.
The people are predominantly German-speaking with a unique (and easily recognizable) Southern Austro-Bavarian dialect typical of which is that all short German vowels before double consonants have been lengthened ("Carinthian Vowel Stretching"). A Slovene-speaking minority of about 13,000 people according to the national census of 2001 is concentrated in the southeast of the country. However, unofficial estimates carried out in 1991 put the number of ethnic Slovenes in the state to 50,000. The disparity in numbers may be explained on the one hand by the fact that Slovene-language users were called upon by Carinthian Slovene organizations to boycott the census, and on the other hand by a possible inclusion of people who are familiar with the language but do not consider themselves ethnic Slovenes, which for instance often is the case with people of mixed parentage.
Carinthia's main industries are tourism, electronics, engineering, forestry and agriculture. The multinational corporations Philips and Siemens have large operations there.
The name (Carantania
) is thought to be Celtic
in origin, though two roots have been proposed:
1. carant, meaning "friend" or "relation" - giving the meaning "land of friends", which may refer to an Illyrian tribe of the Bronze Age.
2. karanto, meaning "stone, rock". If this is the case, the name shares its root with such others as Karnburg, the Karawanken and similar.
Carantania is also related to the old Slovenian Korotan, from which the modern name Koroška arose.
Carinthia consists mostly of the Klagenfurt basin
and the mountain ranges
of Upper Carinthia. The Carnic Alps
and the Karawanken
make up the border to the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia
. The Hohe Tauern mountain range
with mount Grossglockner
(3 798 m
/ 12 461 ft
) divides it from the northern state of Salzburg
. To the east beyond the Packsattel mountain pass
is the state of Styria
, Slovenian: Štajerska
). The main river is the Drau
), it makes up a continuous valley with East Tyrol
to the west. Tributaries to the Drau are the Gurk
, the Lavant
and the Gail
. Carinthia's lakes including Wörther See
, Millstätter See
, Ossiacher See
and Faaker See
are a major tourist attraction.
The capital city is Klagenfurt, which in Slovenian language is called Celovec. The next important town is Villach (Beljak), both strongly linked economically. Other towns are Althofen, Bad Sankt Leonhard im Lavanttal, Bleiburg (Pliberk), Feldkirchen (Trg), Ferlach (Borovlje), Friesach (Breže), Gmünd, Hermagor (Šmohor), Radenthein, Sankt Andrä, Sankt Veit an der Glan (Šentvid na Glini), Spittal an der Drau, Straßburg, Völkermarkt (Velikovec), Wolfsberg (Volšperk). Some of these Slovene place names are official designations, the majority are Slovene colloquial usage.
Carinthia has a continental climate, with hot and moderately wet summers and long harsh winters. In recent decades winters have been exceptionally arid. The average amount of sunshine hours is the highest in Austria. In autumn and winter temperature inversion often dominates the climate, characterized by air stillness, a dense fog covering the frosty valleys and trapping pollution to form smog, while mild sunny weather is recorded higher up in the foothills and mountains.
In 745 the former Slavic principality
became a margraviate
of the Frankish Empire
. The March of Carinthia
was created in 889 by Carloman, king of Bavaria
and given to his son Arnulf of Carinthia
. Having come out victorious from his quarrels with the Bavarian duke Henry II. in 976 Emperor Otto II
split the then gigantic Bavarian
duchy practically in two and established a new Duchy of Carinthia
within the Holy Roman Empire
, which for a short while comprised lands from the Adriatic almost to the Danube. After the death of duke Henry VI
in 1335 it passed to Otto IV
and was ruled by the Habsburg dynasty until 1918. When the end Holy Roman Empire was declared in 1806, Carinthia became a constituent land of the Austrian Empire
and later a crown land
After the end of the First World War southern Carinthia was occupied by troops of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) under colonel Rudolf Maister which led to armed clashes and violent fighting. Parts of Carinthia were incorporated into the SHS-State (later Yugoslavia), which today are part of Slovenia's statistical region of Koroška (i.e. "Carinthia"). The Carinthian Plebiscite on October 10, 1920 determined the future of another, mixed-language, part and drew the final lines of division between what is today the Austrian state of Carinthia and the statistical region of Carinthia (Koroška) within Slovenia. The Canal Valley with the bordertown of Tarvisio (German: Tarvis, Slovenian: Trbiž)and its holy pilgrimage of Maria Luschari was attached to the Italian province of Udine.
Originally an agrarian country, Carinthia in the 1920s made efforts to establish a touristic infrastructure such as the Grossglockner High Alpine Road and Klagenfurt Airport as well as the opening up of the Alps through the Austrian Alpine Club. It was, however, hard hit by the Great Depression around 1930, which pushed the political system in Austria more and more towards extremism. This phenomenon culminated at first in the years of Austrofascism and then in 1938 in the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany (Anschluss). At the same time the Nazi party took power everywhere in Carinthia, which became, together with East Tyrol, a Reichsgau and Nazi leaders like Franz Kutschera, Hubert Klausner and Friedrich Rainer held the office of a Gauleiter.
In World War II the cities of Klagenfurt and Villach suffered from air raids, but the Allied forces did not reach Carinthia before May 8, 1945. Toward the end of the war, Gauleiter Rainer tried to implement a Nazi plan for Carinthia to become part of the projected Nazi National Redoubt (Alpenfestung); these efforts failed and the forces under Rainer's control surrendered to the forces of the British Army. Once again like at the end of World War I, Yugoslav troops occupied parts of Carinthia including the capital city of Klagenfurt but were soon forced to withdraw by the British forces with the consent of the Soviet Union.
Carinthia, East Tyrol and Styria then formed the UK occupation zone of Allied-administered Austria. The Allied occupation ended in 1955 by the Austrian State Treaty, which restored Austria's sovereignty. The relation between the German- and the Slovene-speaking Carinthians remained slightly problematic.
The state is divided into eight rural and two urban districts
), the latter being the statutory cities
) of Klagenfurt and Villach. There are 132 municipalities
, of which 17 are incorporated as towns
and 40 are of the lesser market towns
The state assembly Kärntner Landtag
, ("Carinthian State Diet"), is a unicameral legislature
, which also elects the state governor
, whose ancient title is Landeshauptmann
, (literally: State Captain). The other members of the cabinet
are elected under a system of proportional representation
based on the number of representatives of the political parties elected to the Landtag
. The results of the 2004 elections were 42.5%/16 seats for the Freedom Party of Austria
), 38.4%/14 seats for the Social Democratic Party of Austria
), 11.6%/4 seats for the Austrian People's Party
) and 6.7%/2 seats for the Greens
. The plurality
of the national-liberal FPÖ
is unique among all Austrian states
, while the results of the conservative
are remarkably weak. In April 2005 the Alliance for the Future of Austria
) emerged from the FPÖ
and all but one FPÖ
turned to the BZÖ
One of the BZÖ founders was former Landeshauptmann and long-time FPÖ-leader Jörg Haider. Haider was a rather controversial figure, who was elected Carinthian governor in 1989 but had to resign two years later after remarks about a "proper employment policy" of the Third Reich during a debate in the state assembly. Nevertheless he was elected again Landeshauptmann in 1999 and in 2004, this time even with the consent of the representatives of both SPÖ and ÖVP. Haider was also reproached for repeated contempt for the Carinthian Slovenes minority rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Austria.
Major tourist attractions are the cities of Klagenfurt and Villach, Romanesque St. Paul's Abbey in the Lavanttal and Gurk Cathedral, fairy-taleHochosterwitz castle, the picturesque lakes Wörthersee, Ossiacher See, Faaker See and Millstätter See, fine ski resorts such as Nassfeld/Hermagor, Gerlitzen, Bad Kleinkirchheim and Heiligenblut, and Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner as well as the national park of the Nock Mountains region, a country for all kind of alpine sports and mountaineering.
- Arnulf of Carinthia, Holy Roman Emperor, born 850(?), died Dec. 8, 899
- Ingeborg Bachmann, poet and writer, born June 25, 1926 in Klagenfurt, died October 17, 1973 in Rome
- Werner Berg, painter, born April 4, 1911 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld, died Sept.7, 1981 at Sankt Veit in Jauntal, Carinthia
- Herbert Boeckl, painter, born June 3, 1894 in Klagenfurt, died Jan.20, 1966 in Vienna
- Günther Domenig, architect, born July 6, 1934 in Klagenfurt
- Felix Ermacora, specialist in international law, born October 13, 1923 in Klagenfurt, died February 24, 1995 in Vienna
- Janko Ferk, author, born December 11, 1958 at Sankt Kanzian am Klopeiner See
- Bruno Gironcoli,sculptor, born Sept. 27, 1936 at Villach
- Gregory V., pope, né Brun or Bruno of Carinthia, born 972 (?), place unknown, died Feb.18, 999 in Rome
- Peter Handke, author, born December 6, 1942 at Griffen
- Heinrich Harrer, mountaineer and ethnographer, born July 6, 1912 at Obergossen, Hüttenberg, died January 7, 2006 at Friesach
- Heinrich von dem Tuerlin, minnesinger and epic poet, 13th century, probably born at Sankt Veit an der Glan
- Hemma of Gurk, saint, born c.980 at Zeltschach (?), died June 27, 1045
- Henry of Carinthia, king of Bohemia("Jindřich Korutanský") and titular king of Poland, born 1265(?), died April 2, 1335
- Gert Jonke, playwright, born February 8, 1946 in Klagenfurt
- Udo Jürgens, singer, born September 30, 1934 in Klagenfurt
- Rudolf Kattnig, composer, born April 9, 1895, died Sept. 2,1955 in Vienna
- Franz Klammer, alpine skier, born December 3, 1953 at Mooswald, Fresach
- Josef Klaus, politician, born August 15, 1910 at Kötschach-Mauthen, died July 25, 2001 in Vienna
- Werner Kofler, writer, born July 23, 1947 in Villach
- Kiki Kogelnik, painter, born January 22, 1935 at Bleiburg, died February 1, 1997 in Vienna
- Anton Kolig, painter, born July 1, 1886 at Neu Litschein (Moravia), died May 17, 19950 at Noetsch, Carinthia
- Dagmar Koller, singer, born August 26, 1939 in Klagenfurt
- Arnulf Komposch, mirror artist, born 1942 in Klagenfurt
- Martin Kušej , stage director, born *1961 at Wolfsberg
- Gerhard Lampersberg, né Lampersberger, composer, born July 5, 1928 at Hermagor, dies May 29, 2002 in Klagenfurt
- Maria Lassnig, painter, born Sept. 9, 1919 at Kappl am Krappfeld, Carinthia
- Christine Lavant née Thonhauser, poet, born July, 4, 1915 at Sankt Stefan im Lavanttal, died June 7, 1973 at Wolfsberg
- Peter Löscher, manager, born September 17, 1957 in Villach
- Lydia Mischkulnig, writer, born Aug. 2, 1963 in Klagenfurt
- Modestus, Saint Modest, missionary of Slavs, 8th cent., died 772 (?)
- Robert Musil, author, born November 6, 1880 in Klagenfurt, died April 15, 1942 in Geneva
- Engelbert Obernosterer, writer, born Dec. 28, 1936 at St.Lorenzen in Lesachtal,
- Wolfgang Petritsch, diplomat, born August 26, 1947 in Klagenfurt
- Ursula Plassnik, politician, born May 23, 1956 in Klagenfurt
- Wolfgang Puck, celebrity chef, born July 8, 1949 at Sankt Veit an der Glan
- Erik Schinegger, intersexed alpine skier, born June 19, 1948 at Agsdorf, Sankt Urban
- Joseph Stefan, physicist, born March 24, 1835 in the vicinity of Klagenfurt, died January 7, 1893 in Vienna
- Peter Turrini, playwright, born September 26, 1944 at St. Margarethen im Lavanttal, Wolfsberg
- Ulrich von dem Tuerlin, minnesinger and epic poet, 13th century, probably born at Sankt Veit an der Glan
- Anton Wiegele, painter, born Feb.23,1887 at Noetsch, died Dec.17, 1944 at Noetsch, Carinthia
- Paul Watzlawick, psychologist, born July 25, 1921 in Villach, died March 31, 2007 in Palo Alto
- Carl Auer von Welsbach, chemicist and inventor, born Sept. 1, 1858 in Vienna, died Aug. 4, 1929 at Moelbling, Carinthia