Millstatt

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Millstatt

Coat of arms
Millstatt is located in Austria
Millstatt
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 46°48′19″N 13°34′18″E / 46.80528°N 13.57167°E / 46.80528; 13.57167Coordinates: 46°48′19″N 13°34′18″E / 46.80528°N 13.57167°E / 46.80528; 13.57167
CountryAustria
StateCarinthia
DistrictSpittal an der Drau
Government
 • MayorJosef Pleikner (ÖVP)
Area
 • Total57.81 km2 (22.32 sq mi)
Elevation611 m (2,005 ft)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total3,378
 • Density58/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code9872
Area code4766
Vehicle registrationSP
 
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Millstatt

Coat of arms
Millstatt is located in Austria
Millstatt
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 46°48′19″N 13°34′18″E / 46.80528°N 13.57167°E / 46.80528; 13.57167Coordinates: 46°48′19″N 13°34′18″E / 46.80528°N 13.57167°E / 46.80528; 13.57167
CountryAustria
StateCarinthia
DistrictSpittal an der Drau
Government
 • MayorJosef Pleikner (ÖVP)
Area
 • Total57.81 km2 (22.32 sq mi)
Elevation611 m (2,005 ft)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total3,378
 • Density58/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code9872
Area code4766
Vehicle registrationSP

Millstatt am See (Slovene: Milje or Milštat) is a market town of the Spittal an der Drau Districtin Carinthia, Austria. The traditional health resort and spa town on Lake Millstatt is known for former Benedictine Millstatt Abbey, founded about 1070.

Geography[edit]

Lakeside

It is situated on the southern slope of the Gurktal Alps (Nock Mountains), on an alluvial fan peninsula on the lake's northern shore. The municipal area reaches from an elevation of 588 m (1,929 ft) at the lakeside to 2,101 m (6,893 ft) AMSL at the crest of the Millstätter Alpe massif. It comprises the cadastral communities of Millstatt proper, Obermillstatt, Matzelsdorf, and Laubendorf.

Beneath the Millstatt marketplace stand the extensive buildings of the former Benedictine monastery with its four massive towers and the monastery church at the highest point.

History[edit]

While the oldest archaeological artifacts found in the area date back to the Neolithic, the name "Millstatt" may refer to the Celtic expression "mils" meaning mountain stream or brook. The Celts entered this region from the 5th century BC onwards, their kingdom Noricum came under control of the Roman Empire in 16 BC. During the Migration Period in the 6th century Slavic tribes settled here in the principality of Carantania, which became a march of Bavaria and the Frankish Empire in the late 8th century. According to legend, a Carantanian duke Domitian († 802?) converted to Christianity and built the first church of Millstatt. He also had one thousand statues of pagan gods ("mille statuae", see the coat of arms) gathered and thrown into the lake.

Millstatt Abbey

About 1070 the Bavarian Count Palatine Aribo II and his brother Poto established Millstatt Abbey, a Benedictine monastery, in Millstatt including a donation of extensive landed property around the lake and estates in Salzburg and Friuli. Although no document is saved the first monks probably descended from Hirsau Abbey. The monastery church, now parish church of Christ the Savior and All Saints, was erected in the second quarter of the 12th century. It replaced an earlier church from the days of the Carolingian dynasty, of which some cut stone slabs remained in secondary utilization. While the Counts of Gorizia, Ortenburg and Cilli held the office of a Vogt protector the monastic community included up to 150 brothers, who made Millstatt a cultural centre of Upper Carinthia and left a famous codex—the 'Millstatt Manuscript'—in Middle High German language from around 1200. The decline of the monastery in consequence of economic and disciplinary difficulties led to its abolition by Pope Paul II in 1469.

The Habsburg emperor Frederick III, by this time also Carinthian duke and Vogt of Millstatt, had urged on this decision for the sake of his foundation of the knightly order of St. George to which he handed over the monastery and its estates on 14 May 1469. The order left a Renaissance knightly palace south of the monastery finished in 1499. It was meant to serve as a protector against the increasing attacks by Ottoman forces, however, the very few knights did not succeed and the area was devastated by the Turks several times between 1473 and 1483. After the death of Emperor Maximilian I in 1519 the disbandment of the order began until its final abolition in 1598.

Millstatt about 1680 by Janez Vajkard Valvasor

Meanwhile the Reformation had spread throughout Carinthia and the majority of the population had turned Protestant. The Habsburg archduke Ferdinand II, regent of Inner Austria and later Holy Roman Emperor intended to exterminate Protestantism in his hereditary lands and therefore furnished the Jesuit College at Graz with the benefit of the Millstatt monastery. From 1598 onwards the Jesuits pushed the Counter-Reformation by convincing as well as forcing the local inhabitants to return to the Catholic belief. The history of the monastery came to an end, when the Jesuit order was suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773.

Afterwards Millstatt fell into meaninglessness. With Upper Carinthia it passed to the Napoleonic Illyrian Provinces according to the 1809 Treaty of Schönbrunn, but was restored to the Austrian Empire by resolution of the Vienna Congress in 1815. The present-day municipality was established in the wake of the Revolutions of 1848. From about 1870 onwards it developed to a fashionable summer resort for the nobility and the wealthy bourgeoisie of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, promoted by the opening of the Austrian Southern Railway branch to nearby Spittal an der Drau station in 1873 and the inauguration of the Tauern Railway in 1909.

Culture[edit]

The monastery museum is situated within the cloister and presents a summary of the abbey's history and its cultural heritage, e.g. Neolithic artifacts and facsimiles of the Millstatt manuscript. The collection also includes a Romanesque shrine from about 1140, a dungeon from the 16th century and a Renaissance chest from the studio of Andrea Mantegna. The cassone once was part of the dowry of Paola Gonzaga, the daughter of Ludovico Gonzaga and deceased wife of Count Leonhard of Gorizia, who bequested it to the Order of St. George in 1495.

Since 1981 the "Millstatt Symposium", an academic conference, takes place every year, where researchers discuss different subjects concerning the history of Millstatt and Carinthia.

In summer the "Musikwochen Millstatt" (Millstatt Music Weeks) festival performs various concerts in and around the monastery church including sacred music, choral and classical works as well as jazz, chamber music, piano and organ recitals.

Politics[edit]

Town hall

Seats in the municipal assembly (Gemeinderat) as of 2009 elections:

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Millstatt is twinned with:

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

Literature[edit]

External links[edit]