Nötsch im Gailtal
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|Nötsch im Gailtal|
Main square with Mt. Dobratsch
|• Mayor||Franz Staudacher|
|• Total||42.2 km2 (16.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||569 m (1,867 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2016)|
|• Density||53/km2 (140/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area codes||04256, 04263|
Located west of Villach, the municipal area stretches along the lower Gail valley in southern Carinthia at the foot of the Villacher Alpe (Dobratsch) massif, the eastern extension of the Gailtal Alps. It comprises the cadastral communities of Kerschdorf (Črešnje), Saak (Čače), and Sankt Georgen (Šentjurij).
Nötsch can be rached from Villach and Süd Autobahn (A2) via the Gailtal Straße (B111) highway. In the north, a mountain roads leads up to the high valley of Bad Bleiberg. Nötsch station is a stop on the Gailtalbahn railway line from Arnoldstein to Kötschach-Mauthen.
The settlement in the Duchy of Carinthia was first mentioned in a 1253 deed together with Lewenburg castle, present-day Wasserleonburg, then a fief of the Prince-Bishops of Bamberg. The area was devastated in the 1348 Friuli earthquake, which caused a massive landslide at Mt. Dobratsch and a flood of the Gail river.
Wasserleonburg Castle, located high above the village of Saak, was rebuilt in the 14th century. During a series of ownership of several Villach merchant families, it was significantly enlarged in the 16th and 17th centuries, including a Renaissance courtyard with an open loggia, a Mannerist facade, and a castle chapel. Up to today, the complex is privately owned and used as a hotel; after his abdication, Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, and his wife Wallis Simpson spent their honeymoon here from 5 June to 7 September 1937.
From the early 20th century onwards, Nötsch temporarily was home of a group of Expressionist painters around Anton Kolig (1886–1950). The "Nötsch Circle" was in touch with the Hagenbund group of artists around Oskar Kokoschka, Anton Faistauer, and Egon Schiele.
Seats in the municipal assembly (Gemeinderat) as of 2015 local elections:
- Austrian People's Party (ÖVP): 8
- Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ): 7
- Greens and Civic Platform (Independents): 2
- Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ): 2
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