The Dobratsch

The Dobratsch is the 2,167 summit towering above the green meadows of the "Villacher Alpe". It is Carinthia's best vantage point thanks to its exposed position between the Drau and Gail Valleys, the southern Limestone Alps and the mountain glaciers on the edge of the Carinthian lake plateau. Why else would the Austrian Broadcasting Company (ORF) have placed a 165-meter TV/radio tower on the Dobratsch in 1971?

The two greatest landslides in the eastern Alps

The Dobratsch owes its distinctive form to the two greatest landslides in the eastern Alps. Two earthquakes released a total of 530 million cubic meters of rock over an area of 12 kilometers from the southern flank of the Dobratsch, burying the lower Gail Valley down to a depth of 80 meters. This area is appropriately named "Schütt" (detritus). The gigantic rock masses would correspond to a 530-meter tower on an area of one square kilometer.

Another geological rarity is hidden in the rock of the Dobratsch: shell and snail fossils dating back 200 million years. They originate from the "Tethys Sea" that started to disappear 60 million years ago when the pressure from the African continental shelf began raising the Alps.

The climate change is also evidenced on the southern flank of the Dobratsch and in the "Schütt". Mediterranean flora and fauna that "emigrated" south some 500 years ago as the climate became colder have returned to this area over the last 30 years. These special features explain why the Villacher Alpe and the Dobratsch are protected as a natural preserve.

Signposts and demonstration boards along the Alpine Road offer comprehensive insight into all of the area's natural rarities. There are also a number of observation points allowing visitors to marvel at the wildlife habitat and view.