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14 May 2017

Architecture at the Carinthian lake 'Wörthersee' reminds the historical connection between Austria and Venetia

Carinthia's lakes like Wörthersee belong to Austria's most popular summer destinations; Province Carinthia is located at the South of Austria and borders with Italy and Slovenia. Slovenia's influence is manifested in people's practice of bilingualism; and the Italian influence can be perceived at the 19/early 20th century architecture of villas at the shore of Wörthersee such as Villa Miralago (image right) in Italian inspired neo-renaissance style by Vienna-based architect Carl Langhammer (built 1893; history).

The villas were once built by families who used them during summer to escape the heat of the cities and relax in an alpine atmosphere with Mediterranean notes. Villa Miralago was built for a Viennese industrial family. The architecture of these villas can be described as palazzo-like buildings with characteristic elements of the regional alpine tradition with accents of Viennese Jugendstil (Art Nouveau).

The boom for villas at Wörthersee started in the middle of the 19th century at approximately the same time as Austria lost Venetia to Italy. The culture project 'Wörthersee Architektur' publishes on its website examples of villas originally built between 1864 and 1938 with names of architects, construction years, etc.

Today, selected villas are hotels and can be used by guests such as Villa Miralago which offers at its website insights into the building with garden, beach and the two floor pavilion-like octagonal (eight-sided) boat house (gallery).

Extraordinary wooden constructions for boat houses are significant for Wörthersee. Another nice example is Villa Schnür's two floor boat house (on view below) which counts to one of the favorite motifs for film and photography at the Carinthian lake.

fig. above: Villa Miralago. Photo: (C) Wörthersee Tourismus / Villa Miralago. Below: Boat house of Villa Schnür. Photo (C) Österreich Werbung / Peter Burgstaller.

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