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WOLFSBERG - the City in Paradise

Townwalk

Hoher Platz – Town Hall – Town Houses – Plague Column – Reckturm – Paurisches Haus – Old District Court – Wolfsberg Castle – Mausoleum – St. Mark’s Church – St. Anna’s Chapel – Minorite Monastery – Capuchin Monastery– Bayerhofen Castle – Church of the Holy Trinity

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The architectural monuments and other places of interest in Wolfsberg’s old town bear witness to a rich history. The finest examples are to be found around the Town Hall and Hoher Platz square.

The new Town Hall was built in 1888 on the site where the Heiligenblut church formerly stood. It is not only the town’s administrative headquarters, but also one of Wolfsberg’s most attractive buildings. The town hall boasts a clock tower and has been extensively altered and extended in recent years.

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The old town houses (Bürgerhäuser) at Hoher Platz square are what largely give the old town its historic flair. They date mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries. Of particular historical interest are the late gothic portals, renaissance windows and the romantic balconies. The five-metre baroque column dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Mariensäule) — also referred to as the “Plague Column” — in the middle of the cobble-stoned Hoher Platz square was consecrated in 1718 and today still recalls the horrors of the great plague.

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Of the fortifications that once surrounded Wolfsberg, sections of the town wall, the medieval Reckturm tower and the former district court still remain in the old town. The so-called “Paurisches Haus” is believed to be the oldest building in town.

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Perched high above the rooftops, Wolfsberg Castle has for centuries been the prominent landmark of the town, bearing witness to its vibrant history. It is not known who built the castle, which was first mentioned in a document in 1178. Over the centuries, it has increasingly taken on the character of a commodious palace by virtue of frequent alteration work.

In 1846 the castle became the property of Count Hugo Henckel von Donnersmarck, who had the venerable building rebuilt in English Tudor style according to plans by Viennese architects Johann Romano and August Schwendenwein. Today the castle is owned by Kärntner Montanindustrie GmbH and is increasingly used as a cultural and exhibition centre.

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One of the oldest and most important architectural monuments in Wolfsberg is the old Parish Church of St. Mark (Stadtpfarrkirche St. Markus) which was first mentioned in a document in 1216. This venerable place of worship has a 72-metre tower and houses precious items of sacred art.

They include a portrait of St. Mark with the lion which was painted in 1777 by Johann Martin Schmidt, also known as "Kremser Schmidt". Today it is to be found at the baroque high altar. The church’s late Romanesque portal in the west is also a gem of art history.

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Count von Henckel-Donnersmarck’s Mausoleum, which was constructed by Berlin’s August Stüler in 1858 and 1859, is also a visitors’ attraction and only a few minutes’ walk away from the castle.

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St. Anna’s Chapel, built in 1497, is the property of the bakers’ guild and is therefore also referred to as the "Bakers’ Chapel”. It boasts one of Carinthia’s finest late gothic triptychs.

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The old Minorite Monastery (Minoritenkloster), dates back to the middle of the 13th century. Over the years it has seen frequent adaptation and renovation.

Today the old monastery walls at Minoritenplatz square house several municipal institutions, including the Town Gallery (Stadtgalerie). The construction of the Capuchin Monastery and Capuchin Church (c. 1634) was a result of the imperial counter-reformation.

The history of Bayerhofen Castle (Schloss Bayerhofen) goes back to the first half of the 13th century.
The well-fortified building with an arcaded courtyard dating from the 16th century was a meeting place for the protestants during the Reformation. The 16th century is also when the Church of the Holy Trinity (Dreifaltigkeitskirche) in Wienerstrasse was built. This former infirmary church is today owned by the town council and houses three baroque altars by Franz Anton Detl, as well as several paintings and statues. Some of the works of art originate from the Blutspitalskirche church which was demolished to make way for construction of the new town hall in 1888