As Villach was bombed significantly in World War 2, there aren't many older buildings. St. Nikolai Church is one of four primary places of worship in Villach. Near the Drau River, it is a primary point of reference in Villach.
The city hall stands in the heart od Villach. The building itself is nothing special from the outside (I haven't seen the interior), but I wouldn't even know this is it without the flags outside.
Flags from left to right: Kaernten regional flag, Austrian flag and the EU flag.
I enjoyed here as a child. Look how environment has could make this wonderful place! All my Interrail travel has been full of good times (and some bad, but minory), but the moment wich as been inmortaliced by the photo is sure on of the top 10. Somebody seems here like an insignificant animal compared with the trees, grass and all diverse kinds of life. If human people destroys some day this or other tipes of life span we´ll be destroying our own living.
The remains of the big, 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.
The Villacher Alpe (m 2167) is the nearest mountain to Villach, and provides the nearest hiking or skiing facilities.
The Villacheralpenstrasse starts just outside Villach and in its 16.5 Km takes you from an altitude of about m 600 to about 1500. There are 5 parking places along the route, and a 6th one at the end. Each one can be the starting point for walks on scenic paths.
There is a toll to pay to drive on the Villacheralpenstrasse, because it is one of those roads that do not connect villages or towns, but were built and are kept just for excursions and skiing.
The remains of the castle of Landskron are worth a visit on their own right. However, there is more to see then than the ruins and the panorama.
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 behaviour 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 birds sometimes make their changes to the programme, for instance the sea-eagle may come back with a fresh fish just cought in the Ossiacher lake, or one may even decide to take a short holiday, like Nancy, the American eagle: once she took a few days' leave and was spotted in the Czech Republic!
The church of St Jakob (the parish church of Villach) has an impressive bell tower, 94 metres high. It is the tallest in Carinthia.
Visitors can climb the 239 steps to the top and enjoy the wonderful view.
Hill name: Mattenschanze
Number of hills: 4 - K90, K60, K30 & K15.
Hill record: 102 m
Record holder: Robert Kranjec (Slo), continental cup in summer 2001
History of jumps in Villach:
1908 - the beginning of wintersport activities in Villach/Möltschach
1909 - a man from Graz named Lutter jumped 12 m from a primitive ski jump
1937 - a construction of a proper ski jump began and was completed in 1938
1993 - modernization of ski jumps begun in order that they could host World Cup events; completed in 1995
1995 - first World Cup competition in Villach
I was present at the 2001 World Cup competition. The cream of ski jumping was there. The best were at their best - Adam Malysz of Poland won individual competition, Matti Hautamäki of Finland placed 2nd, Kazuyoshi Funaki of Japan 3rd, Sven Hannavald of Germany 4th,... Those of you who follow this sport will know that Adam, Matti and Sven went on dominating that whole season and are expected to dominate this coming 2002/3 as well.
So far Villach brought most WC podium places to Japan, Finland & Germany. Masahiko Harada won in 1995 & 1997, Janne Ahonen in 1999 & 2000 and, as I've already mentioned, Adam Malysz in 2001.
Unfortunately, Villach is not among regular World Cup venues. After the first competition in 1995, Villach hosted WC events again in 1997, 1999, 2000 & 2001. There will be no competition in season 2002/3 as only K120 hills are included in the schedule. The word is that K90 hills will be back next year - I sincerely hope so because Villach is only 3,5 hrs by car from Zagreb.
The parish church of St. Jakob.
This Gothic church goes back to 1136 (reconstructed 14th–15th centuries). St.Jacob's was the first protestant church in Austria, but later it became a catholic church again.
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.
Museum of DollArt with a very nice exhibition of teddybears too.
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.
In good weather its great to sit by the river at the bar with a beer or other. The riverside is a busy place for biking and walking.
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.
The area is one of real mountainous beauty. I am sure that it is the same, or even more so in the summer, but I am partial to winter landscapes. This one was spectacular!