The Klagenfurt Landhaus

Since it was built (1574-1591), the Klagenfurt Landhaus has been the representative symbol of Carinthia's federal independence. On non-constituency days there is more to be seen in this magnificent Renaissance building than "just" the Great Baroque Hall of Coat of Arms, including, amongst others, the plenary assembly hall of Carinthia's federal parliament.

It is justified to claim Klagenfurt's Landhaus, along with Porcia Castle in Spittal/Drau, as one of Carinthian's most important profane Renaissance buildings. Typologically, the Klagenfurt Landhaus is in line with a whole series of Landhaus buildings, which were erected or enhanced around the same time throughout the Hapsburg Empire. Comparisons are made with the Graz Landhaus in particular, for two reasons: the almost coinciding time of their construction and the name of one master-builder: Johann Anton Verda (1550-1600). Even though work at the Klagenfurt Landhaus started in 1574 under the Carinthian master-builder Hans Freymann, it was Verda who, lured away from his work on the Graz Landhaus to Klagenfurt's Landhaus in 1581, finished construction in 1594.

The multifunctional Klagenfurt Landhaus consists of a U-shaped building with two twin towers, whose courtyard opens to the city. Two open staircases lead from beneath the towers to the arcade corridor of the main building with the great assembly hall. Here, the Landstände/Estates of Carinthia - representatives of the high clergy, the landowning nobility and the cities and municipalities - came together to debate and decide upon federal matters of tax, budget and military affairs. The wings of the Klagenfurt Landhaus, however, did house offices of the 'Burggraf' - a military prefect -, of the jurisdiction, the administration and the government finances. Even in present times the Klagenfurt Landhaus remains the political, administrative center of the state of Carinthia.

Therefore, the visitor to the Klagenfurt Landhaus will not only come across historical rooms, such as the the Great Hall of Coat of Arms, which is adorned with 665 historical coats of arms of the Carinthian Estates executed by Carinthia's Baroque painter Josef Ferdinand Fromiller (1693-1760), who also illustrated the walls and the ceiling of this room with frescos of local and federal history. Furthermore the Great Hall displays the so-called "Prince's Stone", a Roman-antique capital, which was part of the investiture ceremonies of the Duke of Carinthia during the middle ages.

From the Great Hall the visitor proceeds to the Plenary Assembly Hall of the Carinthian federal parliament. The wall behind the governing board is decorated with a modern artwork in the geographical shape of Carinthia, the "Kärntenwand" by Karl Brandstätter. Above is the so-called "Abstimmungsfresko/Fresco of the Carinthian Plebiscite" by Swibert Lobisser. It dates from 1928 and heroically depicts events from the Carinthian defense and plebiscite during the years 1918-1920. Lobisser, fervent supporter of the Nazi party, was commissioned with additions to his fresco, which interlinked the events of the Carinthian defense chronologically as well as ideologically with the Nazi leadership almost immediately after the Anschluß/Austrian annexation in 1938. After the war, by order of the British allies, the 1938 additions were painted over, astonishingly enough, however, the heroic "Abstimmungsfresko" remains untouched.

Through a small anteroom the visitor reaches the Koligraum, which tells a different story: illustrated in 1929/1930 with "Scenes from the Life in Carinthia" by painter Anton Kolig (1886-1950) - one of the artists from the Nötscher Kreis/Nötsch Circle" - the frescos caused controversy from the very beginning. But it was only after the Anschluß/Austrian annexation that they became considered "entartet/degenerate" and were thus destroyed. It was only in 1998, that the artist's grandson, artist Cornelius Kolig (*1942) was commissioned to re-design this room. Reflecting on historic events, the room and the lost frescos, he created an installation 'Tat'-'Ort'/'crime'-'scene'.

The Minor Hall of Coat of Arms with its "only" 298 coats of arms - as in the Great Hall a work by the Carinthian Baroque painter Josef Ferdinand Fromille - completes the public tour to the Klagenfurt Landhaus.

It's good to know:

Great Hall of Coat of Arms of the Klagenfurt Landhaus. 

Opening times:

1. April until 26. October: Mon-Fri 9.00 until 16.00 hrs., Sat and holiday 9.00 am until 14.00 hrs.

27. October until 31. March: Tue-Fri 9.00 until 16.00 hrs., Sat and holiday 9.00 am until 14.00 hrs.

Holy Saturday 31.3. and Easter Monday 2.4.2018: closed

Entrance fees:

adults € 4.-- | kids € 2.-- | family € 7.--
KärntenCard: free of fee

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