WHAT TO SEE IN VILLACH: HISTORIC CENTRE AND MUSEUMS
In this post I’ll tell you what to see in Villach, the town I visited during the period of the Christmas markets, and which offers a lot of interesting things to do if you’re a mountain lover, a lake holidays lover or an art and history lover, like me.
Here is what to do in Villach and its surroundings, having a walk through its historic centre and its surroundings.
WHAT TO DO IN VILLACH: HISTORIC CENTRE
The main square and lateral alleys are the starting point to discover the town, and you’ll soon notice that there are few historic buildings.
During XXII Villach was almost completely destroyed, because its railway was an important strategic point.
In the main square you’ll find one of the few surviving examples of Renaissance buildings. It’s the Hotel Post, home of the post office during the Habsburg period, with a Renaissance façade and carved stone loggias.
Looking upward, you’ll notice also the bell tower of the Church of St. Jakob, one of the town’s most beautiful religious monuments, and you must climb the 240 steps of the bell tower to enjoy the view of the town from above!
Few steps away from the church, you can admire the last surviving piece of the old town walls, which was a part of the ancient walls surrounding and defending the town.
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WHAT TO DO IN VILLACH: MUSEUMS
Among Villach’s museums don’t miss the Museum of the City of Villach, which through its collections illustrates history, art and culture of Villach area, including documents and relics belonged to Paracelsus, famous doctor, philosopher and scientist, in addition to an ancient chemist’s and 15th-century art objects.
Another interesting museum is the Fahrzeugmuseum, housing a collection of 20th-century vehicles (from 1927 to 1977).
And at the Schillerpark you can admire Europe’s largest plastic relief model which faithfully reproduces Carinthia landscape.
WHAT TO DO IN VILLACH AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
A must see is the museum of the “Nötscher Kreis” located in the centre of Nötsch, dedicated to the life and works of the painters of the Nötsch circle, founded by Franz Wiegele together with other artists.
Another important must see is “Terra Mystica”, a mining related theme park in Bad Bleiberg, where you can visit two mines, which were the main source of wealth for Villach area in the past.
The last leg towards Lake Ossiach, is a panoramic hill overlooking the town, and where the majestic Landskron Castle stands.
Built in 1351 and surrounded by walls with watchtowers and a bulwark, the castle’s main attraction is the Adler Arena, an external space where falconry shows with different species of birds of prey (griffons, peregrine falcons, owls and eagles) take place.
At the foot of the castle there’s the Monkey Mountain, Austria’s largest zoo!
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