Interrail Adventure 2018 Day 8 (Part 1): The picturesque town of Villach in southern Austria

The city of Villach in southern Austria, cradled by the Drau river, borders the country from Italy and Slovenia. Therefore, it was only just and right to give the city a go on our way to Ljubljana, and back to Venice a few days later. Although Villach might seem just a cozy little Austrian village, it is actually the 7th largest city in Austria and also the 7th most populous (ca 60,000 inhabitants). Known as the gateway to the Villach Alps and Lake Faak and Ossiach, popular destinations all year round, the city center indeed managed to charm us with history, colors, and yummy bubble waffles and the popular Austrian pastry – apple strudel!

Villach | 2018

07:00 AM Breakfast at Hotel Mosser

First thing first – breakfast! We really liked the ambiance at Hotel Mosser, a family owned hotel that has been operating for over 250 years! It was nicely situated near the train station and St. Nicholas Church.

Hotel Mosser | 2018
Breakfast at Hotel Mosser | 2018

08:00 AM St. Nicholas Church (St. Nikolai Kirche) + a model of the city in 1649 + the Harlequin statue + the Town Bridge

Right across the hotel lies St. Nicholas Church. The neo-Gothic Roman Catholic Church was originally built in the 1300s, has undergone many changes and been transfered to different religious sects, destroyed in 1892, and rebuilt to its modern state in 1896. Since 1906, it has served as the town parish. We wanted to see the interior of the church, but it was closed all throughout the duration of our visit.

St. Nikolai-Kirche (St Nicholas Church) | 2018

Also in Nikolaiplatz was a model of the city in 1649. It was amazing how the city kept its medieval ambiance, despite the many changes including earthquakes and other natural hazards.

Villach in 1649 | 2018

And before crossing the city bridge, we visited the popular bronze Harlequin or Jester statue. It was built in honor of the Villacher Fasching (Carnival), which was first held in 1867. “Lei! Lei” is the famous cry of the Villach Carnival Guild, with the event happening in February. It would have been cool if it was in summer.

Harlequin/Jester statue in Villach | 2018
Harlequin/Jester statue in Villach | 2018

And it was time to cross the almost 60 year old Town Bridge, decorated with advertisement and European flags. It jumps beautifully across the 710 km- Drau (Drava) River.

The Town Bridge in Villach | 2018
Drau river – Villach | 2018
Drau river – Villach | 2018

Mesmerizing, isn’t it?? ❤

08:30 AM Widmanngasse (alley) + Memorial of Names + City Museum + Rose Garden + Ancient city wall

We continued our morning walk along Draulande street, passing by the Catholic Burgkapelle St. Heinrich und St. Kunigunde and some old and narrow streets, and along Widmanngasse (Widmann alley). It was lined with shops, schools, salon, galleries, among others. An interesting structure was the Memorial of Names, installed in 1999, a monument remembering the “names of people of Villach, men women and children, who were murdered under National Socialist terror”. Across it was the City Museum, which was unfortunately closed during our visit.

Memorial of Names | 2018
Widmanngasse | 2018
Widmanngasse | 2018
Villach | 2018
Villach | 2018

Just a few steps away from the City Museum is a cozy little rose garden (Rosengarten Villach), with different species of roses. It was open to the public, with benches people could sit on.

Rose Garden – Villach | 2018
Rose Garden – Villach | 2018
Rose Garden – Villach | 2018

Entering a narrow passageway by the City Museum, we ended up at the Alte Stadtmauer Villach, or the Old City Wall. According to sources, it is the only remaining part of the old city wall dating back to the 1200s.

Old City Wall – Villach | 2018
Old City Wall – Villach | 2018

08:45 AM Parish Church of St. Jacob + City Hall + 10.Oktober street + Protestant Church

A quarter before 9 am, we were greeted by loud church bells. Another Catholic church stands proud in the city centre – the Parish Church of St. Jacob, with a late-Gothic architectural style. First documented in the 1100s, the church underwent many changes and natural hazards before it became the catholic church it is today. Beside the church is a bronze monument of an Eagle. I tried to look for some information about it, its significance and such, but to no avail.

Parish Church of St. Jacob | 2018
Parish Church of St. Jacob (interior) | 2018
The bronze Eagle monument | 2018
Parish Church of St. Jacob | 2018

Just across the parish church is the Rathaus or City Hall, with its three-sided enclosed courtyard partially covered with a see-through canopy. Afterwards, we followed the 10.Oktober street. On October 10, 1920, the Carinthian plebescite was signed (Carinthia is the Austrian province where Villach is located ;)). It determined the border between Austria and the former Yugoslavia. At the end of the street is a beautiful Protestant Church in neo-Gothic style.

City Hall | 2018
Villach | 2018
Protestant Church in Villach | 2018
Villach | 2018

09:00 AM Schiller Park

Schiller Park was a refreshing spot for us, under shady trees, and it has a playground! So, we spent a few minutes there, before heading to Hauptplatz, the main plaza of the city. Located in the park, we planned to see Relief Von Kärnten, a huge replica of Villach, covering 182 sq metres and depicting the province at a scale of 1:10,000! But it opens at 11AM, so we were basically 2 hours early and couldn not wait that long due to our train schedule. So, perhaps, next time!

Schiller Park – Villach | 2018
Schiller Park – Villach | 2018
Villach | 2018

09:20 AM Hauptplatz

Disregarding the detour we made earlier on this city tour, Hauptplatz is what would welcome visitors upon crossing the Town Bridge. This pedestrian-only plaza is lined with colorful houses and shops, cafes and restaurants and street kiosks. It leads straight to St. Jacob Church and the City Hall.

Hauptplatz | 2018
Hauptplatz | 2018

11:00 AM Bubble waffle @ Secret Garden Cafe/Bistro + Apple strudel @ Bernold Cafe Conditorei

Trying to breathe in all the charms and serenity of the city Villach on a Sunday morning, we stopped by at a very nicely situated cafe on Draulande street – the Secret Garden. I have a sweet tooth, so the photo with the bubble waffle really caught my attention. We just sat there and enjoyed the views of the City Bridge and the Drava River. Romantic..

Drau River – Villach | 2018
Bubble waffle ala Secret Garden’s | 2018

And of course, one should never ever leave Villach, or Austria, without having a slice of their famous apple strudel! For this, we went to Bernold, a cafe conditory that has been operating since 1955. It was also recommended by our hotel staff, so we particularly chose it. We enjoyed the apple strudel, I particularly. It’s something one would crave for from time to time, and it has to be made in Austria, just like gelato is to Italy.

Austrian pastries – Bernold | 2018
Apple strudel – Bernold | 2018

At 12:53 PM, we left Villach and boarded the train to Ljubljana. With us were beautiful memories of a short time spent in the lovely Austrian city. This is all for now! The adventure continues.. #spreadlove

Villach | 2018

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Interrail Adventure 2018 Day 8 (Part 1): The picturesque town of Villach in southern Austria

  1. There are certainly so many beautiful places waiting to be explored in Europe. And the Bubble Waffle certainly looks yummy, my son, yelled “oh that looks yummy!” when he saw the photo.

    Like

  2. Austria is actually on my list for 2020! I’m so glad I ran across this post and was able to see some of the places you visited! Great review

    Liked by 1 person

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