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Klagenfurt History, Austria

Klagenfurt shares in the magnificence of its country with its stunning places and sights. Just like Graz History, Klagenfurt History had events that made a mark in Austria's existence.

Klagenfurt History – Discovery

According to accounts, Klagenfurt was discovered by two brave men who had killed the monstrous winged dragon Lindwurm. However, historically speaking, the place was actually discovered by the Spanheim Duke Herman. He used Klagenfurt to monopolize the commercial routes near the town.

Klagenfurt occupied a place subjected to recurrent flooding. This is the reason why Duke Bernhard von Spanheim, the son of Duke Herman, moved in to a more secure location. Because of this, he is deemed as the actual founder of the Klagenfurt market place.

Klagenfurt History – Setbacks of the City and the 16th Century

Problems rose in Klagenfurt in the succeeding centuries. The city had to endure fires, earthquakes, locust invasions, and Turkish attacks. Also, Klagenfurt was not able to escape the cruelty of the Peasant Wars.

A fire almost completely destroyed Klagenfurt in 1514 and the Emperor Maximilian I was not successful in rebuilding the city. Due to this fact, the government was passed on to the nobility of the Duchy known as the Estates. Although this event was the first of its kind to take place in the city, Klagenfurt, under the new rule, experienced economical, political and cultural renaissance.

Many changes happened to the city during the time. Canals were dug to connect Klagenfurt to the lake. Noble families had their houses built in the city. Klagenfurt was expanded. The Neuer Platz, the new city centre was constructed. The construction of new walls to protect the city was finished.

Klagenfurt History – 19th and 20th Centuries

The French troops led by Napoleon destroyed the walls of Klagenfurt in 1809. Only one gate was left standing (the gate at the eastern part). The construction of the railway connecting Klagenfurt to St. Veit an der Glan in 1863, gave life to the city’s economy. Klagenfurt became the only centre of the region.

The population of Klagenfurt increased by more than 50% in 1938 because of the integration of St. Ruprecht town and St. Peter and St. Martin municipalities. However when the World War II broke, the city suffered 41 bombings, killing 612 residents, annihilating 443 buildings, and damaging other 1,132 structures.

A pedestrian zone was approved by Klagenfurt in 1961 – the first one in Austria. Many city partnerships sprang between Klagenfurt and cities located in other countries. Because of this, in 1968, Klagenfurt was given the title “European City of the Year.” The city was also given the esteemed Europa Nostra Diploma for the excellent restoration and expansion of its ancient city centre.

Recently in Klagenfurt History, in 2007, the city modified its official name to “Klagenfurt am Worthersee” (Klagenfurt on Lake Worther). Up to now, it is enjoying its stature in the society.

If you want to learn more about Austria, find out more facts in Linz History.

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