The tour leads from Velden am Wörthersee via Selpritsch and Emmersdorf to the Drava River. It becomes mystical soon after crossing the river, when it goes to the former mountain site with the numerous pits and caves under the Bleiberg. Today, scouts meet there in the summer months to camp in Techuana.
After the stopover, a short climb over the Orainsattel leads to Ledenitzen. From now on you move in the Karawanken - mainly uphill ;) Numerous rustic refreshment stops(Gasthof Sticker, Martinihof and Buschenschank Ischnighof) invite you to stop in between. At Martinihof we recommend a short stop at the town sign - a snapshot with your gravel bike is worth it.
By the way, the entire area is known for its numerous lake.bike mountain bike trails. If you want to enjoy the absolutely most brilliant view, take the short detour to Baumgartnerhof before descending to the Finkenstein castle ruins. The rewarding descent past the historic Kanzianiberg mountain leads to Finkenstein. Over the gravel road of the Finkensteiner Moor and through the Faaker Fitnessparcour the round goes back to Ledenitzen and by a crispy ascent to the Humkirche . If you don't feel like any more uphill stages, you can follow the main road in the direction of Unterferlach (past Gasthof Rausch) to Pirk and rejoin the track there.
Return to the starting point by the Drava River at Frojach, through the Celtic world at Frög and the Rosegg Castle Zoo.
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WORTH SEEING LOST PLACES AND INTERESTING STORIES ALONG THE TOUR
Note: We have marked some of the Lost Places as off-tour, because a logical routing has top priority for us. Not every gravel biker is interested in our exciting stories along the tours. We did not want to lead all those along the track into "dead ends".
At least since the 18th century, but probably much earlier, the Kozjak in St. Martin near Rosegg was systematically perforated in search of ores such as lead and zinc. The mine, last operated by the Bleiberg Mining Union, has been at a standstill since the beginning of the 20th century - but only in the economic sense. Acoustically, the opposite is the case. Strange sounds keep echoing through the forest around the old tunnels and shafts. When drafts whistle through the old mine, the wind plays on a kind of large organ. Strange, but great for the Techuana scout camp, which has pitched its tents on the former mining site since 1964. Around the campfire, generations of teenage campers have probably puzzled over the sounds from the depths. It speaks for the discipline in the Boy Scouts that no one has disappeared yet: Not all shafts leading straight and vertical into the old mine are closed. Techuana, by the way, is a word that occurs in almost all Indian languages of North America. It stands for the period of testing and maturing into a warrior: every male Indian had to leave the home wigwam for at least 3 moons (months) during puberty in order to master life alone on the prairie, in the forests and mountains.
Finkenstein castle ruins
A long time ago, a legendary Habsburg emperor also enjoyed the fantastic view of Lake Faak here: Maximilian I, who was to go down in history with the nickname "the last knight", spent a few months of his childhood at Finkenstein Castle around 1470. The then ten-year-old and his four-year-old sister Kunigunde were half-orphans after the death of their mother Eleonore, and their father, Emperor Frederick III, was quite busy. He had to fight with some uprisings and the Hungarians. Because the area around Villach was still safe, Frederick gave his children into the care of Landesverweser (governor) Ritter Sigmund Kreuzer, who owned the dominions of Finkenstein and Wernberg. Already at that time it was true: good account, good friends. In the emperor's books there are records of the costs of feeding the children at Finkenstein as well as the amount of oats that were fed to their horses.
Finkenstein Castle was inhabited until the 18th century. In the 1980s, the then owner stopped the decay and built an event center to it, which was used until. Stars such as Jose Carreras, Montserrat Caballé, Joe Zawinul, Udo Jürgens, Konstantin Wecker and Falco have performed in the so-called Burgarena.
Because of its good strategic position (panoramic view and easy to fortify) the Kanzianiberg was already inhabited in the 3rd millennium before Christ. On the disappeared remains of the Neolithic village a Roman fort was built, which has also disappeared today. The church - it is still standing - was mentioned in a document for the first time in 1301, but it is probably much older. It is dedicated to the early Christian saints Kanzius, Kanzian and Kanzianilla, who gave their name to the elevation. There were three lime kilns around the mountain. One was in operation until the end of the 1940s and was later renovated by Alarich Warmuth and the local beautification association. They also built the Finkenstein Village Museum in the old farmhouse on Kanzianiberg, which contains a wealth of historical treasures. The lime kiln, by the way, is located directly on the route and provides an exciting insight into the millennia-old technique of lime extraction. The rock faces to the left and right, from which the limestones were quarried for burning, now serve as a climbing garden with over 300 routes in all degrees of difficulty. By the way, from the lime kiln you have a perfect view into the rock walls and therefore an exciting entertainment during a short break.
Finkensteiner Nudelfabrik | a u t h o r t o u r c u l i n a r i c s
Not every factory is an industrial operation. Probably the most original and delicious example of this is in Finkenstein on Lake Faak. A 1.5-kilometer detour from the route there leads directly to the Finkensteiner Nudelfabrik. It has been in operation since 1895, when it was set up in an old hammer mill to use its hydroelectric power plant. The company is still run as a family business. Meanwhile, the fifth generation guards the secret recipes that are the basis of many pasta creations, some of which are made by hand. Attached to the factory are a delicatessen and a market café where, of course, the company's own pasta is served.
Kirchenwirt Finkenstein | K u l i n a r i k
At the Kirchenwirt in Finkenstein, tradition is just as important as innovation - and has been for six generations! Today, the family business is a popular steak inn known far beyond the borders of the municipality. The menu lists every last ingredient, from salt to balsamic vinegar. And those who dare can sizzle their own steak. A hot deal in the truest sense of the word. A lava stone heated up to 400 degrees is placed on the table. Reservations recommended!
A detour of 1.3 kilometers and 100 meters in altitude leads to the lonely church of St. Christoph am Hum, located in the forest. The Romans once roamed around here. A Roman gravestone in the eastern choir wall of the church, for example, testifies to this. The most remarkable feature of the church, however, is a probably early Romanesque tomb relief "processed" in the southern wall, which shows a praying crowned figure. It is believed to be a representation of St. Elizabeth of Thuringia. By the way, the "Hum" in the name of the church is a place name. This is the name of the ridge on which it stands.
Celtic World Frög
Elsewhere you can't see the forest for the trees, here you can't see the forest for the tumuli. In Frög, an entire open-air museum is dedicated to these actually very rare relics from the Hallstatt period. It is called Keltenwelt (Celtic World) and is located right next to the still clearly visible tumuli, some of which are almost 3000 years old. As many as 600 of these burial places, reserved for particularly well-heeled and/or important deceased persons, have been found here. The adjacent settlement from this era is considered to be the first capital of a dominion on Carinthian soil. How people lived there is shown in the Celtic World by means of reconstructions. The open-air museum is open from April to October.
Rosegg Castle, Zoo and Ruin
The Schlossallee bears its name rightly - it leads past Rosegg Castle. Together with the adjacent zoo, which is a popular destination for excursions, it belongs to the Liechtenstein noble family, which is famous throughout Europe. The café operated in the building allows a nice insight into the love life of bygone times: The palace was built in 1772 by Count Franz Xaver Wolfgang von Orsini-Rosenberg for his Italian mistress, a certain Madame Lucrezia, and is therefore deliberately reminiscent of a villa in the south. However, the most prominent inhabitant of the magnificent building is Peter Ritter von Bohr, who had the zoo built around the ruins of the old Rosegg Castle from 1839. He first made a name for himself as a painter and businessman, but then also as a money forger.
Gravel bike tours sometimes lead over unpaved ground or gravel roads. Therefore, these are only suitable for very experienced riders.
Some of the routes also lead along public roads. Here, of course, the StVO applies.
FairPlay! Don't be a spoilsport! Ride the tours in the forest and mountain areas exclusively during the day. Please respect the interests of hunters and property owners.
Always stay on the trails and save the whole community trouble with property owners.
Respect driving bans and temporary trail closures.
Many of the Lost Places described are only accessible by a short walk. Please keep to this and give your bike a short break.
Do not enter ruins or other objects in danger of collapsing.
Keep your hands off objects. Please leave objects in their place and do not take anything with you. Otherwise, the special character of the places will be quickly lost.
Be sure to follow our notes, tips and warnings at each Lost Places description.
Please keep in mind that you'll probably be walking with your cycling shoes on. Not all Lost Places are suitable for a walk or exploration with these. However, we have noted corresponding notes in the descriptions.
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