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From 15.11. 2016 to 15.4.2017 you get information about the current road condition (closure, snow chains) by traffic signs at the beginning of the road.
dobratsch

Myth Dobratsch

The Dobratsch: summit adventure in Villach

Landmark and protective mountain high above Drau and Gail: the popular Villacher Alpe

Even the two names of the abundant alpenstock, which rises above the confluence of the Drau and Gail as part of the Gailtal Alps, characterise its location. The name “Villacher Alpe” is of German origin, “Dobratsch” has Slovenian roots. The meeting of two different cultural and linguistic groups here in Carinthia is also illustrated by the fact that two pilgrimage churches with the same name are located on the top of the alpine summit with two names – a “German” one and a “Wendish” one. Wendish is the name for the Slovenian dialect in the lower Gailtal and southern Carinthia. The province and mountain both had a very eventful history, with that of the alpenstock being decisively longer than that of the people living at its foot.

Read now: interesting facts about the origin of the Dobratsch!
gipfelkreuz
people on gipfelkreuz

Man and mountain: shepherds, pilgrims and mountaineers on the Dobratsch

The Dobratsch was first documented in 1348 – for an unpleasant reason. A huge rockslide caused by an earthquake catapulted around 150 million m³ of rock into valley claiming many lives. It re-appeared in the annals in 1484 for a more positive reason. Mother Mary supposedly appeared to a shepherd, thereby saving him and his entire herd from a storm. This shows that transhumance of livestock onto the mountain pastures of the Dobratsch already occurred in the 15th century. Mountaineers and natural scientists followed the shepherds and pilgrims in the 19th century.

Tips for mountaineers of today: the new Dobratsch summit house!

Skiers and car drivers: development of the Dobratsch in the 20th century

What happened next was a “classic” in alpine development. Touristic use of the mountain in proximity to the city led to the establishment of a ski region in the 1960s, which only enjoyed brief success. All facilities to protect Villach’s drinking water were dismantled in 2002. The Villach Alpine Road project, however, was a success. After long years of campaigning to realise this project, the mountain road opened in 1965. The 16.5 km road now leads through an extraordinarily beautiful protective area. Concerns about protecting and maintaining the mountain nature were addressed in a particularly intense manner, for example by opening the unique Alpengarten.

Read more about the Alpengarten on the Dobratsch now open for visitors!
rote wand
"Rote Wand"

Highlights on the Dobratsch – easy to reach on the Villach Alpine Road


•    The Alpengarten with 800 different plants in 27 plant patches, open for visitors from early June to late August (car park P6, admission).

•    Rote Wand lookout platform: insights into the earth’s history and views of the Karawanks and Julian Alps (P6).

•    German church Maria am Stein and Wendish chapel on the Dobratsch summit: visit the two highest pilgrimage churches of the Eastern Alps (walking time from Rosstratte car park P11 around 1.5 hours)! Both churches owe their construction to devout foundations.

•    Innovative Dobratsch summit house (former Ludwig-Walter-Haus) from 2010: a modern prime example of passive house construction on the mountain! Beautiful sun terrace with imposing panoramic view, Carinthian delicacies.

•    Chamois and summit view platform, easy to reach from the Rosstratte car park (approx. 20 minute walk).



Best go on a trip to the Dobratsch / the Villacher Alpe yourself: the Villach Alpine Road is open to traffic all year. Find out more about the prices and opening hours now!
villacher alpe
"Villacher Alpe" in winter