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The sun usually smiles down on you in Carinthia, but of course there are days when it’s cloudy or even rainy. Those are ideal occasions for a saunter through the shops or museums. You’ll receive information materials for all the attractive sights in the region at the reception. Here is an overview of all the best museums:
GREIFENBURG: Mountain farmers’ museum Gnoppnitz with hunting exhibit. Open by appointment, telephone 82095 or 8142.
LIENZ: Cultural Heritage Museum Schloss Bruck – West of Lienz, located at the entrance to the Isel Valley. Aguntum – Roman excavations 4 km to the East of Lienz.
SPITTAL: District Cultural Heritage Museum in Chateau Porcia, open from the 15th of May until the 15th of September, daily from 9am until 6pm. The biggest collection of regional and cultural historical artifacts and folklore in Carinthia. In the building’s two stories you can see mills, farmers’ living quarters, meat-curing kitchens, bee colonies, Brechlhütten (a hut where flax was stored and processed), dairy-storage rooms and many other things faithfully reproduced. Adjacent is the gallery of well-known Carinthian painter Prof. Karl Trupper. The oldest postage stamp in the world, the “Spittaler Stamp,” is here, but sadly not internationally recognized, because it’s only a postmaster’s stamp. Park chateau with special tours, opened from the middle of May until the middle of September daily from 9am until 1pm, and 3pm until 6pm.
SEEBODEN: Carinthian Fisheries Museum (a branch of the District Cultural Heritage Museum Hospital), 9871 Seeboden; opened from the middle of May until the middle of September daily from 9am until 12pm, and from 2pm until 6pm. Built in 1638, the Fishery House contains not only fishing equipment, salmon curing equipment, raft-models and dug-out canoes, but also several exhibits on underwater-sports and emergency aid. Castle Sommeregg – located above Seeboden, contains a torture museum, medieval games and a medieval market. Open all year.
MILLSTATT: Monastery Museum Millstatt in the monastery building, 9872 Millstatt; open from the middle of May until October, daily from 9am until 6pm. Between 1070 and 1468 the Benedict Monastery Millstatt was an important center of Romanic sculpture and the art of book writing. Then, from 1469 until 1598, it was an art center for the Order of the Knights of St. George under the special care of Emperor Friedrich III and Maximilian I. And finally from 1598 until 1773, under the Jesuit Order, it was the economic foundation of the University of Graz, which was managed by Jesuits.
GMÜND: Museum of the Gmünd Township, Hauptplatz 13, 9853 Gmünd; open from the middle of June until the middle of September, Monday through Friday from 10am until 12pm, and 3pm until 5pm, Saturday from 10am until 12pm. On display are the city’s historical showpieces and documents, which also served as a center for the mountain farmers of past centuries. Farming equipment and tools, a documentation of the building of the Autobahn (highway) in the Liesertal are also on display. Porsche-Museum, opened daily from 9am until 6pm, all year round.
RENNWEG: Cultural Heritage Museum of the Rennweg Municipality, in the old school, St. Peter 34, 9863; open every Thursday from 4pm until 6pm or according to appointment with the Director of the Rennweg elementary school (Tel. 04734/234). The collection comprises farming equipment, hunting gear, mountain-farming pieces, the wagon trade, art pieces about farming, old calendars and schoolbooks as well as retrospectives on the upper-Carinthian painter and sculptor Josef Messner. Schauhütte im Pöllatal, 9863 Rennweg: open by appointment in the adjacent Schoberblick Guesthouse. The Schauhütte, an exhibition space of mountain-farming equipment and photomontages is built below the former Lanisch arsenic mine.
BALDRAMSDORF: Carinthian handicrafts museum in the Patern Chateau, 9805 Baldramsdorf, Unterhaus: open from the middle of May until the middle of October daily from 9am until 12pm, and from 2pm until 5pm. Tools, equipment and historical documents from 28 kinds of trades are exhibited in the wards of a former cloister.
GROSSKIRCHHEIM: The Cultural Heritage and Gold-Mining Museum in the Chateau Möderndorf – from May until October from 10am until 1pm, and from 2pm until 5pm, open daily. Besides a historical documentation of gold-mining in the Hohen Tauern mountains, starting from Roman times, there are a mineral collection and furnishings, crafts tools, weapons and art pieces.
HEILIGENBLUT: Open-air Museum Apriacher Stockmühlen, Apriach, 9844 Heiligenblut; Open-air facility freely accessible, tours by appointment, registration is in the Heiligenblut Schoolhouse. There are nine restored so-called rural “Stockmühlen” (mills) on the escarpment.
HERMAGOR: The Gailtal Cultural Heritage Museum in the Möderndorf Chateau - open daily, May to October from 10am, until 1 pm and from 2pm until 6pm – holds folkloric and cultural historically important collections from the Gail, Gitsch and Lesa valleys. The crowning piece of the exhibit is the 300 million year old “Gailtal Primeval Tree.” Covering three floors and 16 rooms, you can see exhibits from pre-history, Celtic and Roman findings, traditional Gail Valley clothes, hunting and fishing equipment, historical pieces from the reformation and counter-reformation, Lutheran bibles, sacred sculptures, documents from legal and judiciary proceedings, a replica of a school-room, depiction of handiwork and trade, stove-fitting, pottery, old glass, a meat-curing facility and diverse sporting articles.
KÖTSCHACH-MAUTHEN: The Plöcken Museum in City Hall. The museum for the mountain chain during the years 1915 to 1918 has historical objects and exhibits of the Dolomite-chain and the Kärntner-chain. Oil paintings, aquarelles and sketches of Damianos, Selenati and Sternbach complete the collection.
OPEN AIR MUSEM AT PLÖCKENPASS (Near the border): Historical objects and facilities from the years 1915 to 1917 – cavern-facilities, barracks, the defensive quarters, snipers’ and runners’ trenches, saps, fire-positions, guard-positions, cable car stations and the Arkadenweg (for visual cover). Walkabout tour with solid shoes about 50 minutes.
EINÖDE by TREFFEN: Elli Riehl Doll Museum. There are thousands of portrait puppets for display, created over 25 years by Elli Riehl.
Further Interesting Sights: Klagenfurt, the provincial capital (Province Museum, Spaceflight Planetarium, Reptile Zoo, “Minimundus” with world heritage sites rebuilt in small scale), Maria Saal (Carinthian Open-Air Museum), Magdalensberg (biggest archaeological digs in Austria).
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For Shopping Tours: For relaxed shopping during bad weather: Lienz/East Tirol (1/2 hour by car), Spittal an der Drau (1/2 hour), Tarvisio/Italy (1 hour) – interesting leather selections.