|District||Spittal an der Drau|
|• Mayor||Klaus Rüscher|
|• Total||261.77 km2 (101.07 sq mi)|
|Elevation||843 m (2,766 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||7.8/km2 (20/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Malta is a municipality in the Austrian state of Carinthia, in the district of Spittal an der Drau, west of the town of Gmünd. Situated within the Hohe Tauern mountain range, it covers most of the valley of the Malta river, a tributary of the Lieser. The municipality includes the Katastralgemeinden Dornbach, Malta and Maltaberg. With an area of about 262 square kilometres it is one of the largest in Austria.
First settled in pre-Roman times, the first documented mention of Malta was between 957 and 992 under the name Locus Malontina. The parish church of Maria Hilf Assumptio is Gothic, built in various stages between the 13th and the 15th centuries. It has a Roman gravestone set into the wall, 15th-century paintings in the vaults, and 14th-century frescoes on the walls of the choir. In the neighbourhood is Dornbach Palace (originally Gothic, but with alterations added in the 16th century); it is surrounded by a circuit of walls and a moat.
Tourism brings 123,603 overnight stays per year. Attractions include the former provost's cottage (turned into an open-air museum) and the Koschach nature trail. In 1987 the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern was extended as far as the Ankogel mountain range and today, some 85.7 square kilometres of municipal territory are part of the national park.
The Hochalm mountain road up the steep Malta valley leads to the Kölnbrein arch dam, part of the Malta hydroelectric plant run by the Verbund power company. Tunnels lead the water to the power stations in the Möll valley at Reißeck over 1100 m (3610 ft) below.
The dam collects a large amount of water from the surrounding mountains and also by a system of water supply tunnels bringing water from the Lieser and Möll rivers. The masonry dam built between 1971 and 1978 with a length of 626 m (2053 ft) reaches a height above ground of 200 m (656 ft) and therefore is the tallest in Austria. The reservoir extends 4.5 km (2.8 mi) behind the dam, holding approximately 200 million m³ of water.
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