Carinthia is the southern region of Austria, famous for its ski resorts in the Alps, for its splendid lakes and for the numerous hiking paths in the surrounding mountains. The region has a long border with the north of Italy, which is crossed by excellent highways that break through the Alps with many long tunnels.

The capital of Carinthia is Klagenfurt, the famous ski resort and city with its old city with Renaissance buildings. Surprisingly for a ski resort in the intimidating Alps, Klagenfurt is just as welcoming during the summer. The nearby lake, Worthersee, is the warmest of the Austrian lakes, having the largest beach in Europe, that is not on a coast of a see. Worthersee is a 20 km long alpine lake, surrounded by the cliffs and forests of the Alps, which create magnificent sceneries. From spring to fall, all surroundings are of a pure green that you can fall in love with, with the waters changing shades from the nearby mountain reflections. The accommodation facilities and fun possibilities seem endless in the region.

Klagenfurt and the neighboring Maria Worth See offer many interesting sites for those interested in architecture, with castles such as Landhaus, Loretto or Tentschach, churches and elegant houses.
Maria Worth used to be an island in the Worthersee lake, which was named after it, but now is a peninsula. The small peninsula is dominated by two small churches, with their late Gothic architecture, that give the island a romantic and mysterious look, which made it a preferred place for marriage ceremonies.

The oldest church on then island of Maria Worth was dedicated to St Mary’s and was documented in 875. The monastery is now used anymore, but is a popular pilgrimage and tourist destination. The initiative of building a convent near Klagenfurt belonged to the Bishop of Freising, who wanted to extend his missionary activities from Salzburg. The two churches, the old winter church (Winterkirche) in a Romanesque Gothic style, and the new, larger Gothic church, have changed hands many times during the last millennium. From St George’s knight order, who used to defend it from invasions, the church was given to Benedictine abbey of St Paul in Lavanttal. The Benedictines are a Catholic order founded by Italian saint Benedetto of Nurcia, which maintains a degree of autonomy inside the Catholic church. The monasteries themselves are not coordinated from a central decision point.

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