|District||Spittal an der Drau|
|• Mayor||Matthias Krenn (FPK)|
|• Total||74.01 km2 (28.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,087 m (3,566 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||23/km2 (59/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Bad Kleinkirchheim is a municipality in Spittal an der Drau, Carinthia, Austria. Until the middle of the 20th century, agriculture was the dominant focus, but it is now a renowned spa and ski resort. Although records show people appreciating the area as a recreation area as early as the 11th century, and the first bathing guests arriving in the 17th century, it was only in the last few decades that Bad Kleinkirchheim began to move away from agriculture and focus on its potential for tourism.
Bad Kleinkirchheim is at an average elevation of 1,087 m (3,566 ft) in a 5 km (3 mi) stretch of the Gurk valley, between the Millstätter See and the upper Gurk valley. The populated section lies between 980 m (3,215 ft) and 1,380 m (4,528 ft), and the highest point in the area is the peak of the Klomnock, at 2,331 m (7,648 ft). North of Kleinkirchheim and St. Oswald, part of the Nockberge National Park is within the area’s boundaries.
To the north and south of the valley, the hills rise relatively steeply to an elevation of about 2,000 m (6,600 ft), so that the only way in and out is by the B88 road which links the area to Radenthein in the west and Reichenau in the east. Bad Kleinkirchheim also borders Krems in the northwest and Feld am See to the southwest.
Kleinkirchheim Sankt Oswald Zirkitzen Aigen (population: 57) Sankt Oswald (168) Rottenstein (99) Bach (302) Staudach (167) Zirkitzen (418) Kleinkirchheim (357) Obertschern (127) Unterschern (168)
The settlement apparently didn't exist before Roman times. A minister was mentioned named Pabo in a document dated 5 July 1166, in which archbishop Konrad II of Salzburg confirms the donation of a chapel in the area. This is considered the first mention of Bad Kleinkirchheim.
In September 1473 the Turks broke into the region, robbing the town and plundering the valleys. On 25 June 1478 a group of about 600 farmers tried unsuccessfully to drive out their leaders. By 1480 the Turks had left, possibly as a result of an invasion of Hungarians.
During the Reformation, many farmers in the area became Lutheran, however by the late 16th century freedom of religion had been bestowed on the residents. But when Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor rose to power, he made Roman Catholicism the official religion. However, Protestants still managed to smuggle books and hold secret meetings, and in 1781 a Protestant or Jew would have nearly all the rights of a Catholic.
Bad Kleinkirchheim was shortly ruled by France during the Napoleonic Wars. The Revolution of 1848 also affected the area, as farmers (which then made up most of the town's population) got more rights.
Finally, in 1973, Bad Kleinkirchheim officially had the "Bad" (bath, spa) attached to its name, Kleinkirchheim, a reference to the popular hot spring.
93.4% of the inhabitants of Bad Kleinkirchheim are Austrian by nationality. The largest portion of the foreign population comes from South-East Europe (Yugoslavia 1.7%, Croatia 1.0%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.5%) as well as from Germany (1.4%). 95.2% of the population speak German, 1.8% Serbian and 1.0% Croatian. 62.3% of the population admit themselves to Roman Catholicism, 30.8% are Protestants and 2.0% Orthodox, 0.8% are Muslims, 3.5% are without religious confession.
This town is most famous for its church, built circa 1492. There are also a lot of farms and mills.
The town is known for its ski resorts, offering skiable slopes of 185 km, as well as 16 km of tracks for cross-country skiing. The Alpine Skiing World Cup is also held here often. The local ski club, the Ski Club Kleinkirchheim, was established in 1947 and has about 2,000 members, a population larger than the town itself.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bad Kleinkirchheim.|
- www.slopeseeker.com - An independent guide to skiing in Bad Kleinkichheim
- Alpine Ski Winners in Bad Kleinkirchheim