The Ossiacher See northeast of the town of Villach is 11km/ 7mi long, 1km/0.75mi wide and up to 47m/155ft deep, making it the third largest lake in Carinthia after the Wörther See and the Millstätter See. Surrounded by wooded hillsides and peaks, including the Ossiacher Tauern in the south, and with a water temperature in summer of up to 26 deg C/79 deg F, the lake has become a popular holiday area. The lakeside villages with their facilities for water sports and other attractions draw large numbers of summer visitors. The villages clustered around the Ossiacher See offer opportunities for rowing, waterskiing, sailing and surfing, as well as horseback riding and tennis. There are also boat trips on the lake.
Ossiacher See Map
On the southern bank of the Ossiacher See lies Ossiach, the largest village in the area (500m/1,641ft; pop. 670), with a Benedictine abbey founded in the 11th C., rebuilt in the 16th C. and dissolved in 1783. The former Abbey Church of the Assumption is now the local parish church. Originally a Romanesque pillared basilica it was remodelled on Baroque lines in the 18th C. The stucco decoration and wall and ceiling paintings by J. F. Fromiller (c. 1750) are very impressive; note also the Late Gothic winged altar in the northwest chapel, depicting a Madonna with Child between two saints. The former abbey buildings to the southwest of the church are attractively decorated with 18th C. frescos and stucco work.
During the months of July and August each year the music festival known as the "Carinthian Summer" is held in Ossiach (operatic performances, orchestral and chamber concerts, song recitals, etc.).This annual festival takes place in June and July, and includes almost daily afternoon and evening concerts. Events include various concerts by symphonies and choral orchestras, organ recitals, operas and numerous seminars. Events for children are also organized.The venues include the 11th-century Ossiach Abbey and the Villach Conference Center.
Opposite Ossiach on the north side of the Ossiacher See is the resort of Bodensdorf, a family resort with parks and many sports facilities; traditional festivals and events for children and young people are an added attraction.
At the northeastern end of the Ossiacher See lies the pretty little resort of Steindorf, from where a main road runs eastwards to St Veit an der Glan.
Tiffen, to the north of Steindorf, has a parish church of St Jacob the Elder; lying on high ground, the former Romanesque church was heavily fortified at one time. Reliefs from Roman graves are built into its walls, and inside the visitor should note the 15th C. wall paintings, a fragment of a crucifix, a Crucifixion group, Fathers of the Church and a painting of the Resurrection above one door. The high altar, the Baroque side altars and the Roccoco pulpit all date from the 18th C.
To the southwest of Bodensdorf, towards the southwestern end of the Ossiacher See, the village of Annenheim straggles along its northern edge (open air swimming pool and tennis courts).
From Annenheim the Kanzelbahn (cableway) ascends the Kanzelhöhe (1,489m/4,885ft; viewing tower). From the top there is a splendid view of the Ossiacher See and the Klagenfurt basin as far as the Karawanken. To the north rises the Pöllinger Hütte (1,630m/5,348ft).
St Andra, Austria
St Andrä (433m/1,421ft; pop. 2,100) was the seat of the Prince-Bishops of Lavant from 1225 to 1859, when the see was transferred to Marburg, now Maribor in Slovenia, and their palace became a Jesuit college. The parish church, which goes back to the ninth C., has remains of 15th C. wall-paintings and numerous gravestones bearing coats of arms. The twin-towered Baroque Jesuit church of Maria-Loreto (1697) originally belonged to a convent of Dominican nuns which was dissolved in 1792; note the Baroque furnishings (statues and paintings). A visit to the local museum and the workshop of Lavanttal craftwork is also to be recommended.At the extreme southern tip of the Ossiacher See, St Andrä provides an open air swimming pool and various sports. From here the motorway to Villach is quickly reached.
Above St Andrä, to the south (1.5km/1mi on a steep road with gradients up to 22%) are the imposing ruins of the Renaissance Schloss Landskron (677m/2,221ft), for a long time owned by the Kevenhüller family, from where are extensive views of the lake and the surrounding countryside.
Feldkirchen (556m/1,824ft; pop. 12,000) is a lively little town with many old houses and streets which retain something of a medieval aspect. Particularly fine are the houses in the "Old Quarter" (Altes Viertel) and the Biedermeier facades (1815-48) in the Hauptplatz. The parish church of the Assumption is Romanesque with a fine 14th C. Gothic choir; note also the 13th C. frescos and the Late Gothic winged altar and crucifix (both early 16th C.). On the surrounding heights stand a number of forts and castles, and near the town are several small lakes (Flatschacher Teich, Urbansee, Maltschacher See).
Designed to tell the history of civil and military aviation in Austria, this museum displays a variety of engines, aircraft and documents.
Elli Riehl's Doll Collection, Treffen, Austria
Elli Riehl's Doll Collection is located in Treffen, a small town mid-way between Klagenfurt and Spittal. The museum contains over 650 rag dolls, made by Elli Riehl in the course of 45 years. The dolls were meant to portray people she knew.
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