Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Incantato Favorite: Klagenfurt, Austria

Situated on the eastern shore of the Woerther See, Austria's warmest lake, Klagenfurt is the capital of Austria's southern-most lake of Carinthia. It was founded in the 12th century as an important trade center and transport hub. In 1544 almost the entire city was destroyed by a fire. Reconstruction was understaken mainly by Italian architects, which is one of the reasons Klagenfurt is reminiscent of an Italian town and style. In the 16th century, the city was the center of the Counter-Reformation. During this time, Klagenfurt was extended and partially rebuilt, although most of its historic buildings date back to earlier eras. 
There are many sights to see in Carinthia's capital, such as:
Dom St. Peter und St. Paul
The Cathedral was originally built as a Protestant Church in 1578, however, it was taken over by the Jesuits in 1604 and elevated to the rank of cathedral in 1787, after it had been completely rebuilt in 1727. Its ornate high altar dates back to 1752. 
Altes Rathaus
One of the most attractive sights Klagenfurt has to offer is the 17th century former town hall with its galleried courtyard. It was the first seat of the Klagenfurt town authorities and today  is used as a popular music venue.
Dragon Fountain
Located at the New Square, there is a fountain with a mythical dragon sculpture that was created in 1593. Over time, it has become not only a town symbol, but has also made its way into the Klagenfurt coat of arms. 
Stadtpfarrkirche St. Egid
This Baroque Chruch was built on the site of an earlier church that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692. Its spire rises up 299 feet!
This museum houses a collection of early sacred art objects, among other religious artifacts. Its most famous exhibition piece is a 12th century stained-glass panel of Mary Magdalene, which is believed to be the oldest of its kind in Austria. 

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