Founded in the 12th century as a market town, Klagenfurt serves as the capital of the Austrian province of Carinthia. Its charming old quarter is renowned for its arcaded Renaissance courtyards while a historically significant canal connects to Lake Wörthersee.
Things to do in Klagenfurt
Klagenfurt’s most famous landmark is the Lindwurm, a 16th-century winged dragon fountain that was carved by Ulrich Vogelsang from a single block of greenstone. It relates to a legend that the city was built on a dragon-inhabited swamp where the sprawling Neuer Platz is located today. North lies the Alter Platz with Klagenfurt’s 17th-century Old Town Hall.
Towering over the Domplatz is the Klagenfurt Cathedral, which was the largest Protestant church in Austria when it was constructed in the late 16th century. Its opulently decorated interior features religious frescoes and reliefs while a soaring spire towers above. Twin onion-domed towers also dominate the Landhaus, which is famed for its elaborately decorated Great Coat of Arms Hall.
Perched atop a dolerite crag north of Klagenfurt is Hochosterwitz Castle, which is one of the most spectacular castles in Austria. First mentioned in 860 AD, it once watched over the frontline between Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Hochosterwitz Castle is accessed along a steeply winding route with 14 fortified gates and encompasses a centuries-old chapel with ceiling frescoes. Explore the castle’s historic apartments before getting up close to a 2.4-metre-tall set of armour.
Getting around Klagenfurt
Klagenfurt Airport is a 10-minute drive from the city centre and has regular flights to Vienna and Cologne-Bonn. The much larger Graz Airport is 1.5 hours away. Trains connect from destinations across Austria to the Klagenfurt railway station and buses travel throughout the city. The centre of Klagenfurt can easily be explored on foot.