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Gail / Zilja
The name derives from the Illyrian name gailias (=the flooding), and hardly applies today, since the river was largely regulated from 1875 to the 1970s. Many meadows and wet meadows that shaped the valley were lost forever in this way; only at the foot of the Dobratsch have some river loops and biotopes survived and convey a picture of the original character of the Gail. Up until the 18th century there was a »reservoir« that was created as a result of the landslide that laid the river bed. The field name Seewiese comes from this time. South of it is a fortification from 1903, below it one of the most beautiful sections of the river with bizarre rock formations.
Oberschütt / Rogaje
According to legend, the village church is the only building to have survived the landslide of 1348 unscathed. The remains of a medieval crucifixion scene on the outer wall are remarkable. A botanical treasure awaits hikers on the northern outskirts. It is a gently sloping wet meadow, called Gladiolenwiese, which displays an unprecedented bloom in early summer. It is named after the Illyrian gladiolus, which other rare plants such as the grass iris, the hem sedge and the upright trespe keep company. The medieval place name Weinzurel refers to the vineyards that were being harvested in this climatically favored area for centuries. The Weinitzen, a large, hilly clearing in the Schütter forest, takes its name from this period. It is one of the most biodiverse meadows in the country and is of outstanding beauty, especially in autumn, when the leaves of the scattered oaks change color. Not far from there are remnants of Mediterranean-looking dry stone walls.
Federaun / Vetrov
This place, which is plagued by transit traffic, has only a few historical buildings; Exceptions are the neglected Kreuzwirt, a former workshop and the simple church on the road to Oberfederaun. There you will find remnants of a mighty castle, which once controlled the valley, away from the circular hiking trail. From here in the 13th century the knights of Ras (after whom the Rosental is named) made raids in the area before they were expelled by the bishop of Bamberg. The view of the giant Fürnitz train station is impressive, for which 100 km of rails and 54 parallel tracks were laid at the widest point.
The Römersweg near Warmbad Villach is particularly steeped in history and surrounded by the aura of a sunken era. It once connected the province of Noricum with Rome and was an important transport link between Carinthia and Italy until the Middle Ages and beyond. A memorial stone in Unterfederaun commemorates its last »general renovation« in 1575. Near the Studenca well, there are in the stone chiselled rail-like ruts as well as the steps for the draft animals can be seen particularly clearly. Dodges and "passing lanes" can also be seen. The aformentioned well is especially after the sno melting and prolonged rainfall, an almost magical natural spectacle. The stream pours out of a rock as if under high pressure and flows over moss-covered stones through the deciduous forest. The water plunges into a ravine 300 m further in order to then continue leisurely towards Warmbad. The name corresponds to the Slovenian word for source and refers to the former Slavic settlement of the area.
The name goes back to the years 1809 to 1813, when the area was part of the Illyrian provinces of Napoleon and the French emperor wanted to create a park here. Today, the extensive lean meadow with scattered groups of trees is an important habitat for butterflies and other insects, but also for songbirds, whose songs fill the air in spring. On the north side is one of the largest burial mounds in the Eastern Alps. It dates from the Hallstatt period and has been completely looted over the centuries. Only the gentle hills, once the burial places of elevated people, have been preserved.
The hotel looks back on a long history and has undergone numerous metamorphoses over the centuries. Demanding guests get their money's worth, but travelers with smaller wallets are also recommended to visit. In the halls and extensive corridors, old engravings, paintings and historical photographs testify to the glamorous past of the resort; a few legacies of the Romans can also be visited. But the most beautiful place is the historical thermal bath with its light wooden vault and the natural gravel bottom, from which the water enriched with noble gases continuously bubbles and renews itself every three hours. The south wall is adorned with valuable marble inlays by the surrealist painter Franz Rogler from 1959.
Arnoldstein is best reached by bus from Villach bus station.
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