The “city of culture in the south” also has a lot on offer in the areas of culture, theatre, cabaret and music: with a theatre for four genres of performing arts (linked to the City Theatre), cultural associations, choirs and galleries, Klagenfurt is provided with a lively art and culture scene.
Those interested in history can explore the 800 years of history of Klagenfurt on a walk through the old town. The 17th century Stadtpfarrturm (parish church tower), for example, has a stunning observation platform.
You find more information on culture and events on Klagenfurt´s culture-server
Another insider’s tip: “Indulge in Nostalgia” (nostalgia rides) in summer are a unique possibility to experience the provincial capital from an unusual perspective.
The square „Neuer Platz“ directly in front of the city hall, is the actual centre of Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. In 2008 the square was reshaped by the famous architect Boris Podrecca and was transformed to a modern “city square”. In the middle of it dwells the Lindwurm, the symbol of Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. The architect Boris Podrecca is a specialist concerning square-architecture; also squares in Venice, Piran, Cormons etc. are carrying his trademark.
In the middle of Klagenfurt you will find the “Lindwurm” (built around 1590), Klagenfurt’s heraldic animal, originally a bipedal dragon, which glides past the city tower. It commemorates the origins of the city as told in the legend of its foundation (German “Furt der Klage(n)” or “ford of laments”). The fountain with its “monster”, statue of Hercules and Renaissance railing was completed in 1636.
Maria Theresa monument
The first monument to “Empress” Maria Theresa to be erected in Austria was placed at the west end of Neuer Platz square in 1765 in place of the equestrian statue of Leopold I. The original hard lead statue of artistic value was replaced by a bronze sculpture by Franz Pönninger and Rudolf Bayer in 1873 and the monument was relocated to the east end of the square in 1972 (after building the underground car park).
Housing the town hall since 1918, this Renaissance palace owned by the Counts of Rosenberg was built in 1650 and has a historically interesting staircase.
It has taken 20 years for Prof. Ernst Fuchs to complete his work in the “Winter Chapel” of the parish church of St. Egyd … and the result just has to be seen! Fantastic colours, numerous details and a fascinating history behind the pictures make for an unforgettable visit to the Fuchs Chapel.
Monday to Saturday: 9am to 12 noon
Guided tours for groups: 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 2pm and 3pm
Sundays and public holidays: Guided tours at 2pm and 3pm
Old town hall
Formerly known as the Welzer palace, now the Rosenberg palace, it was built around 1600 by a Spanish master builder. Its notable features include the arcaded courtyard and the coat of arms of the Rosenberg family above the main entrance as well as Fromiller’s painting of Justitia, the goddess of justice, with the coat of arms of Klagenfurt and Carinthia.
Commissioned by the Estates and built by Hans Freymann and Johann Anton Verda between 1574 and 1594, it replaced the town’s first castle that had been pulled down (with moat). Worth seeing is the coat-of-arms hall with 665 coats of arms of the Carinthian Provincial Estates, provincial governors, members of the cathedral chapter and provincial administrators.
Haus Zur Goldenen Gans
Alter Platz 31, first mentioned in 1489, maybe the oldest building still standing in Klagenfurt. The inner courtyard has a relief depicting a centaur with a female figure (probably 16th century) and beautiful arcades.
Alter Platz pedestrian zone
One of the two traffic routes on which Duke Bernhard founded the town, it is part of the east-west road which intersected the north-south axis at this point. At the east end of the square there is a commemorative plaque for the Völkermarkt gate by the Provincial Estates.
Trinity column and plague column
Originally made of wood, erected on Heiligengeistplatz square in 1680 to commemorate the plague. After victory over the Turks (Vienna 1683), a half-moon and cross were added. In 1965 the monument was relocated to Alter Platz square.
Kramergasse pedestrian zone
Dating from 1961, Austria’s first pedestrian zone is also the oldest street in Klagenfurt, along with Alter Platz square and Wiener Gasse. Worth seeing are the coats of arms of the twin towns of Klagenfurt that are incorporated into the ground.
Character from the legend explaining the origins of Lake Wörthersee. Metal sculpture by Heinz Goll, 1965.
On Heuplatz square, built in 1781 to commemorate the great fire of 1777. At the start of Heuplatz square, in Paul Hatheyer Schütt, one of the lions which used to “guard” the city gate is set in the wall.
City Theatre (Stadttheater)
Jugendstil building dating from 1908–1910 and replacing the 17th century ballrooms. Renovated and extended by architect Günther Domenig in 1998. www.stadttheater-klagenfurt.at
Built in the 18th century on the old rampart of the Wölfnitz bastion. The first outlet point of the Feuerbach stream was here, an irrigation canal which ran from the north, branching off from the River Glan, across the city moat and through the city. In 1830 the building was converted into a Biedermeier-style mansion. One of its outstanding features is its neoclassical triangular gable. Close to it is a faithful copy of the torso of a statue of an emperor (probably 16th century), said to represent the legendary founder of Klagenfurt, Emperor Claudius II (Claudiforum = Claudius’ market).
City art gallery (Stadtgalerie)
Theatergasse 4, built by the town in the 18th century as an almshouse and orphanage and later used as an infirmary. It was renovated in 1996 and now houses a music school and the city art gallery. Passageway from Theatergasse to the Schubert park.
Oldest municipal cemetery (used until 1677). House no. 2 dates from 1620. The town’s main parish church of St. Egyd was built on the site of a three-aisled basilica (first mentioned in a document in 1255 as the “Vrouwenkirche“).
Statue of Duke Bernhard of Spanheim, founder of the town around mid 13th century. Stone pedestal depicting naturalistic lions by Josef Kassin († 1931). This square leads to the newly reopened Eisengasse and Tabakgasse via Kramergasse.
Carinthian Museum of Modern Art (MMKK) – former castle
In 1586 the building was created as the “Collegium sapientiae et pietatis” (higher school of wisdom and piety) for Protestant nobility. In the 17th century and until mid 18th century it served as a residence for the Carinthian burgraves. The northern front, the castle chapel (access via the museum) as well as the second floor, are additions from the 18th century. In 1933 the Carinthian Provincial Art Gallery (Kärntner Landesgalerie) was founded. Extensive alterations from 2001, reopening in June 2003.
Domplatz square with cathedral
In the grounds of the former Jesuit college which later became the “Jesuit barracks” (destroyed in air raids in 1944). The cathedral, Austria’s “earliest pilaster church”, was built by the Protestant Estates in 1581 and consecrated to the Holy Trinity in 1591.
“Goldener Brunnen” house, Lidmanskygasse 8
The 17th-century “Goldener Brunnen” house belonged to the Jesuit barracks located across the street on Domplatz square and housed a Jesuit seminary. Magnificent semi-circular portal with a plaque and a relief of the Jesuit order.
St. Mary’s church (Benedictine church)
Commissioned by the Catholic Estates and built by Adam Kolnig († 1632) in 1613 as part of the Franciscan monastery. Due to extensive alterations over the years, the only original elements are the octagonal tower, the 17th-century stucco decorations, Fromiller’s painting of the crucifixion, tombstones and memorial stones, incl. those of the Baron of Herberstein and the Countess of Rosenberg, patron of the monastery. The church was handed over to the Benedictine order in 1807.
The stone fisherman
This statue, which stood in Heiligengeistplatz square for a long time, was probably erected in 1606 to symbolise the old fish-market regulations.
Church of the Holy Ghost
The church which underwent extensive alterations to the Gothic core in Baroque times and its rather plain monastery (Ursuline order since 1678) are incorporated in the north side of Heiligengeistplatz square. The six coats of arms carved in wood and the font (1623) are well worth seeing.
The former palace was in possession of the Protestant physician Urban Zusner von Zusnerberg until 1614, then it served as the seat of the high diocese of Bamberg (1759). 19th-century facade, Renaissance arcaded courtyard with facade from around 1650, passageway to Renngasse.
Stauderplatz 8 / Stauderhaus building
Built in 1909 by architect Franz Baumgartner, the house is typical of the idealised style of German rural architecture.
Maria Loretto Castle
Maria Loretto Castle, a 2-storey rectangular structure with a high hipped roof is the property of the Provincial Capital of Klagenfurt. It was built by Count Johann Andrä von Rosenberg as a summer residence with spacious gardens in the Italian style in 1652. After a fire, only a simple version of the castle and Maria Loretto Chapel were restored in 1708.
Kreuzbergl and Kreuzbergl church
Not far from the city centre, Radetzkystrasse leads to the recreation area of Kreuzbergl with its well worth seeing Kreuzbergl church (Calvary church). The Baroque building with two onion-shaped towers was consecrated in 1742 and has a blind cupola with architecture prospect and Sudarium of Christ by Josef Ferdinand Fromiller. Also the high altars and side altars are by Fromiller. The stations of the Cross were created after the construction of the church. In the place of the funeral chapel (1742) the provincial memorial site (Landesgedächtnisstätte) was created. All mosaics are by Karl Bauer.
Musil House – Robert Musil Literature Museum
Permanent exhibitions by Robert Musil, Ingeborg Bachmann and Christine Lavant in the house where the world-class Austrian writer was born. www.musilmuseum.at
The Lend canal is an idyllic waterway running from Lake Wörthersee to the old town. Already in the year 1240, Duke Bernhard of Spanheim developed plans for constructing a waterway from Lake Wörthersee to the city centre of Klagenfurt, however, only in 1527 did the excavations for the Lend canal start. At that time it served as a water supplier for the town moats as well as a fire pond. By extending and deepening the canal in 1558, brisk trading and passenger traffic could be handled on this historic waterway at times. Since then, with some interruptions, several companies have run boat trips on the Lend canal. Places along Lend canal worth seeing are, among others, the Protestant Church of St. John (neo-Gothic stencil painting, Elisabethsteg (footbridge), Jergitschsteg (footbridge), Rizzibrücke, Steinerne Brücke (bridge built between 1527 and 1538), Heinzelsteg (footbridge), Europapark, Minimundus, Planetarium, Happ Reptile Zoo, Maria Loretto Palace (built in 1652), Maiernigg (suburb of Klagenfurt; here is the “composer’s lodge” of the well-known Austrian composer Gustav Mahler as well as his 19th-century house at the lake).
Wörthersee Stadium Klagenfurt (Hypo Group Arena) – a new sight for Klagenfurt!?
Klagenfurt’s Wörthersee Stadium impresses with a significant design. Effects are achieved by the roofing above the stands which partly consists of transparent double-webbed slabs. It was the aim of the architect team to develop a compact stadium which is integrated in the landscape. The stands are as close to the playing field as possible and make every match a special live experience. More information at www.woertherseestadion.at