Millstätter See

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Millstätter See
Millstätter See Ost 01 2013.JPG
View of Lake Millstatt from Döbriach towards Seeboden
Geographical location Carinthia , Austria
Tributaries about 30, including the Döbriacher Riegerbach
Drain Seebach zur Lieser (only drain)
Places on the shore Seeboden , Millstatt , Döbriach , Dellach , Pesenthein
Location close to the shore Spittal an der Drau
Coordinates 46 ° 48 '  N , 13 ° 35'  E Coordinates: 46 ° 48 '  N , 13 ° 35'  E
Millstätter See (Carinthia)
Millstätter See
Altitude above sea level 588  m above sea level A.
surface 13.28 km²
length 11.5 km
width 1.8 km
volume 1,204.6 million m³dep1
scope 25.5 km
Maximum depth 141 m
Middle deep 88.6 m
Catchment area 284.55 km²dep1
Map at millstaetter see.svg
Overview map Millstätter See
Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE AREA Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE LAKE WIDTH Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE VOLUME Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE SCOPE Template: Infobox Lake / Maintenance / EVIDENCE MAX - DEPTH template: Infobox See / Maintenance / PROOF-MED-DEPTH

The Millstätter See is a lake north of the Drautal near Spittal in Carinthia ( Austria ). It lies 588 m above sea level , is 11.5 kilometers long and up to 1.8 kilometers wide and is Carinthia's second largest lake after Wörthersee , with 141 m deepest and with 1204.5 million cubic meters the most watery lake. Larger settlements on the lake can only be found on the north bank, including Seeboden , Millstatt and Döbriach the three largest towns.


Widest point of the lake at Dellach, opposite the Laggerhof

According to a popular legend, the name of Millstatt is based on the mille statuae (Latin for “a thousand statues”) that the Carantan Duke Domitian had thrown into the lake after his conversion to Christianity. The etymology, however, leads the place name back to Milsstatt , a settlement on the Mils. The name of this stream is derived from the pre-Slavic Melissa , which means mountain stream or hill stream . This Milsbach is probably the Riegenbach, which flows into the lake in Millstatt.

Geology and geography

Historical view of Pesenthein before 1891


The area around Spittal an der Drau and the Millstätter See was covered with ice during the last ice age period, in the high glacial of the Würm Ice Age around 24,000 years ago up to around 1800 m above sea level. The ice masses of the Möll and Drautal glaciers flowing eastwards merged in the Spittal area with the Lieser glacier to form a broad ice stream. At Lieserhofen this was divided into a north and a south branch, with the northern branch forming the Millstätter sea furrow and flowing towards the Gurk glacier from Döbriach to Radenthein and Kleinkirchheim. The glacier cut is still clearly visible on both mountain flanks in Döbriach.

In the Würm Late Glacial around 20,000 years ago, the glaciers gradually melted. The Drautal glacier collapsed and formed individual separate bodies of ice, so-called dead ice . Such a body of dead ice remained in the excavated Millstätter tub for longer and dammed up the meltwater from the Liesertal glacier and the gravel masses carried along. The latter were deposited as the Lieserdelta on the western edge of today's lake. As the ice body sank in and melted away, the Lieser gradually cut into the damming body and removed large parts of it again. In the Lieserdelta, however, an enclosed basin was formed in which the water of today's lake could collect. The Millstätter See can therefore be seen as the remainder of the last ice age.

For a long time the lake was bigger than it is today and probably reached as far as Lurnbichl. The Lieser seems to have flowed into the lake via Kötzing near Krauth ober Seeboden. The old course of the river can still be seen along the road to Treffling . In the course of time, the Lieser relocated the drain over the Lurnfeld with its attachments . This is how today's incision in Millstätter Seerücken , the Liesergraben as an outflow, was created.


Geologically, both the Nockberge and the Seerücken belong to the Koralpe-Wölz ceiling system of the Eastern Alps . The lower parts of the Nockberge and the Seerücken form a unit, the so-called Millstatt complex, while the higher parts of the mountains north of the lake are assigned to the Radenthein complex. The Millstatt complex consists of monotonous gneisses and mica schists with quartzite layers . These rocks were created by metamorphosis of sand and clay stones, the Ordovician is assumed to be the period of deposition . The Radenthein complex is built up mainly from garnet mica schists, in which various rocks containing amphiboles occur.

Location and catchment area

The Seerücken separates the lower Drautal from Lake Millstatt (right)

The Millstätter See is bounded in the north by the approximately 2000 m high peaks of the Tschiernock, the Kamplnock, the Millstätter Alpe and the Lammersdorfer Berg, which belong to the Nockberge , the western part of the Gurktal Alps . To the south of the lake, an elongated ridge, which extends from St. Peter im Holz in the west to Glanz in the east, separates the Millstätter See basin from the Drautal. The highest elevation of this densely forested "Seerücken" is the Gaisriegel (988 m above sea level). The 2110 m high Mirnock rises east of the lake .

The area around Lake Millstatt has been continuously settled for at least 4000 years. The oldest prehistoric finds in Upper Carinthia can be found on Millstätter Berg on the plateau above the north bank near Sappl and Lammersdorf. A pollen diagram from the deepest area of ​​the lake between Dellach and the Laggerhof shows from about 2200 BC. A pronounced accumulation of bracken and juniper , two distinctive indicators of human clearing of pastures and forest pasture. Based on the pollen analysis, five phases of increasing and decreasing human settlement activity around the lake can be identified. With the beginning of Roman times, pollen from sweet chestnuts and cereals, especially rye , accumulated , which declined again during the migration period. The remains of a luxurious Roman villa with red-green wall painting, hypocaust heating and two exceptionally well-preserved marble doorsteps were found in Dellach . From the 9th century onwards, the Bavarian clearing led to a drastic decline in local forest vegetation.

The shady south bank was only inhabited at the Laggerhof until tourism began . The villages on the sunny north bank only enlarged with the construction of the road on the bank. The old Roman road did not run along the lake, like Millstätter Straße (B 98) today , but over Millstätter Berg. From the end of the 19th century the tourist communities Seeboden and Millstatt with numerous holiday villages developed from the original farming and fishing villages.

The catchment area of the Millstätter See is 284.5 km², which is 21 times the area of ​​the lake. It essentially coincides with the five neighboring communities Seeboden , Millstatt , Radenthein , Ferndorf and Spittal an der Drau . The latter two have no closed settlements on the lake shore. The municipalities Fresach , Lendorf and Baldramsdorf are also counted as part of the tourist “Region Millstätter See” .

The main tributary of the lake is the Riegerbach flowing in the east near Döbriach, which is fed by several small streams, especially the Tiefenbach from the Kleinkirchheim high valley. A total of 30 streams flow into the lake, most of them on the north bank. The only outflow leaves the lake at the west end and flows into the Lieser near Seebach (Seeboden municipality) . It drains Lake Millstatt by an average of 5.1 m³ / s.


Climatically, the lake is favored by an updraft , which causes increased sunshine over the lake, but bad weather in the immediate vicinity. The Millstätter See is one of the warmest lakes in Carinthia and due to the large amount of water and because the inflow and outflow are small, very temperature-stable. On the surface in the middle of the lake, the water is up to 22 ° C, on the shore the water temperature is up to 26 ° C, when there is no wind and in bays it rises to 28 ° C. The hot water layer reaches a depth of five to eight meters in summer. The cooling in autumn is slow, the autumn circulation begins in December, the spring circulation in March. A closed ice cover only occurs in extremely cold winters; ice formation on the banks usually begins in January and ends as early as the end of February to mid-March.



Lagger host Christoph Staber with caught catfish, around 1890

The lake's abundance of fish has been coveted from time immemorial. Already for the Benedictine monks of the Millstatt Abbey it is documented for the year 1177 that they had the Pope assure them the fish woad for the eastern part of the lake in Döbriach. For a long time, the fishing rights in the western part of the lake belonged to the Sommeregg rulers . For 1450 it is confirmed that in Seeboden and Millstatt several fishermen were located, which for the former landowners, the counts of Ortenburg the Seelehen managed. Emperor Friedrich III. In return for the monastery's fishing rights, he had 50 lake trout delivered to the farm every quarter . As long as fishing was a manorial right, there were dedicated rules for fishing. Closed periods were set, and climbing aids at mills and weir systems were prescribed. The use of fish traps and night fishing with a fire basket over the water and fish diggers was prohibited. Furthermore, the common man was expressly forbidden to catch crabs. With the abolition of the manorial rule in 1848, there was complete freedom of fishing in many places. It was not until 1885 that a Reich Fisheries Act was enacted. In the meantime there has been an uncontrolled overexploitation of fish stocks. Carinthia only received a binding fishing law in 1931. From the time of the predatory fishery, some fish engravers have been preserved, which can be viewed in the Seeboden Fishery Museum.

Until recently, commercial fishing was an essential industry on Lake Millstatt. Fishing at the lake outflow was particularly easy and profitable. During spawning time, the large salmon trout could be caught here with transportable fish fences made of rods or with a fixed device. The last remnants of the salmon rake in the lake outflow, which was first mentioned in 1638 and which, due to its damming effect, repeatedly led to violent disputes over the flooding of the fields in Döbriach on the other side of the lake, could be seen until the 1970s. The rise of the salmon trout ended with the construction of river regulations and power plants. With the exception of a few fish, which are offered as a specialty by the local gastronomy, is currently mostly only fished as a leisure activity.

Fishing museum at the lake outflow in Seeboden

The first Carinthian fishery museum was opened in 1980 in the fisherman's house Brugger in the Seebodener Bucht directly at the lake outflow . The house in which the sea fisherman from the county of Ortenburg lived and worked was donated by Baroness Klinger-Klingerstorff to the Spittal District Home Museum, which operates a branch there. The house, built in 1638, is a typical Carinthian smoking room, the main living and working area of ​​which was the smoking room with an open hearth, with the chimney in the front building also being used as a salmon moose. In addition to the Rauchkuchl, objects from the local fishery such as fishing boats, fishing gear, fish preparations, various photos and display boards such as sketches from the salmon Fürschlag mit Kalter, as it has existed in Seebach since 1805, can be seen. An aquarium (7000 liters) of live fish shows the diversity of species in the lake, occur in the following fish species: rainbow trout , whitefish , char , arbors ( bleak ), roach , chub (chub), barbel , tench , carp , catfish , pike , walleye , Perch and eels . Historical water sports equipment document the beginnings of tourism.


Bathers in Dellach 1909

The history of tourism on Lake Millstatt, one of today's important branches of industry in the neighboring communities, begins in the second half of the 19th century. Probably the first description in the travel literature can be found by the Viennese alpinist and court chamber clerk Josef Kyselak (1798–1831), who also passed the lake, which was then still known as Mühlstädtersee, on his Austrian hike in 1825. He describes: “His boundaries on the other side are beautifully forested; without a village, without a house, only here and there a narrow strip of meadow separates the tall green of the mountains, which are shaded far into the lake, without a swaying boat often swirling the surface. I learned that this lake rages more furiously in moderate winds than others in violent storms, so it is rarely used and sometimes not at all. "Regarding the area around Seeboden, it says:" I strolled through the miserable lake by the fish-rich lake for an hour Villages Görtschach, and Lerchendorf until it ended at Wirlsdorf. Swampy meadows, hardly bearing the wooden huts of the dirt-loving inhabitants, are the constant sight of the alternate hikers sinking down on the stairs. "

With the development of Carinthia by railway lines, the country's lakes became a destination for summer vacationers. The first person looking for relaxation came from Vienna and is said to have taken up quarters at the Millstätter Gasthof Trebsche in 1869. In the parish chronicle of Millstatt in 1872 it was noted: "This summer Millstatt was visited by numerous foreign guests, especially from Vienna, sometimes for several weeks, sometimes for individual days" . Karl Emil Franzos described Lake Millstatt in a report in the “ Freie Presse ” in 1883 as “not impressive” , but as more pleasant than “the loud, glaring beauty of other lakes” and was impressed by the “primitive simplicity and remoteness of the place [Millstatt ] " Done.

The simplicity praised by the French gave way to a tourist infrastructure with the increasing flow of visitors in the decades that followed. On the north shore of the lake, Anton Trebsche and Peter Marchetti had opened seaside resorts in 1870 and 1875, respectively; the latter soon had 200 bathing cabins after several extensions. Inns were opened and some wealthy guests had villas built on the lakeshore. In 1881 the "Seebad Millstatt Förderungs-Verein" (Seebad Millstatt Promotion Association) was founded, which, under the direction of Franz Burgstaller, had walking paths, a tennis court and a park laid out and organized events. For the journey from Spittal train station, a regular horse-drawn bus connection was set up in 1883 by the Südbahn. Millstatt was still promoting its intimate atmosphere in 1897, but it had meanwhile become the third most important summer resort in Carinthia after Pörtschach and Velden . In 1875 there were still 70 permanent spa guests, in 1903 there were already 1829 holidaymakers, the majority of them Hungarians and Viennese. In Seeboden, from 1890, in Döbriach and Dellach around the turn of the century, the first signs of summer tourist traffic appeared.

Diving tower in the Millstatt lido

The First World War brought tourism to Carinthia almost completely to a standstill. It was not until the beginning of the 1920s that guests came to Lake Millstatt again and investments were made in the expansion of the infrastructure. The diving platform in Millstätter Strandbad, built in 1931 and still in existence today, became a major attraction. At that time, Lake Millstatt developed into an important arena for sporting competitions. At the same time, the global economic crisis put pressure on tourism, which was exacerbated in 1933 by the thousand-mark ban imposed by the German Reich and the resulting almost complete absence of German guests, who had until then made up around half of the foreign visitors: In the tourism year of 1933 / 34 the low number of overnight stays by foreigners was reached, in Carinthia the proportion was only 15.8%. With the " Anschluss " of Austria in 1938, the economic situation eased again due to the growing number of visitors from the "Old Reich". At the same time, however, the Jews persecuted by the Nazis and guests from abroad stayed away. Public baths and health resorts were only allowed to be visited by "Aryans", and a number of villas, restaurants and health resorts were " Aryanised ". In addition, due to the new political situation, foreign guests refrained from vacationing in Carinthia, in the summer of 1939 their share was only 2.5% of overnight stays. Nevertheless, the summer half of 1939 was the most successful in the history of Carinthian tourism in terms of the number of guests and overnight stays. However, the Second World War did not initially bring tourism to a standstill. Although the number of visitors fell by 40% in 1940 compared to the previous year, they rose slightly in the following year. From 1942, however, the tourist facilities were increasingly used for bombed-out people and refugees from endangered cities; tourism in the true sense of the word no longer existed in the last years of the war.

The years of the " economic miracle " brought enormous growth rates to Lake Millstatt, especially thanks to West German tour operators. Even campers discovered in the 1960s the lake as a holiday destination. The negative effects of mass tourism on the environment and culture hardly played a role in the 1950s and 1960s, which were characterized by the expansion of tourist capacities and infrastructure. The wastewater that entered the lake directly or indirectly led to eutrophication of the lake water, i.e. weed growth and algae growth. A slow increase in floating algae was noted for 1955, a noticeable increase from 1965 and a strong increase in the following years. During this period, the average depth of view decreased from an average of 6 to 2 meters until the peak of eutrophication in 1972. The appearance of the Burgundy blood algae led to a spectacular “water bloom” on the surface of the lake. In the summer of 1972, the swimming pool almost came to a standstill. The expansion of the sewer system on Lake Millstatt between 1964 and 1980 only gradually led to oligotrophication . The amount of floating algae only started to decline in 1995, and since 2004 the algae biomass has been at a low level again.

The number of overnight stays in the communities on Lake Millstatt peaked around 1980, declined until the end of the 1990s and has remained stable since then. Summer tourism accounts for around 85%.


Margarethe steamer around 1910

Before the roads were built, rafts were the only way to bring heavy loads such as wood or coal across the lake. Up to the beginning of the 20th century , goods were also transported with simple, wide flat boats, the flatbeds . The last preserved one, which was already powered by a diesel engine, stands in front of the fisherman's house.

The first reference to shipping as a leisure activity on Lake Millstatt comes from the year 1870. With the rise of tourism, more elaborately built keel boats came into use as rowing and sailing boats. From 1890 the first small private steamship operated on the lake, from 1892 there was also a petroleum steamer . In 1901 the “Millstätter Dampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft” was founded, which launched the screw steamer “Margarete” on June 6 of the same year. This ship could carry 150 people and was in service until 1917. Today, the eight berths around the lake are approached several times a day from May to October. Three ships (Kärnten, Seeboden and Millstatt) are operated by Millstätter-See-Schifffahrt GmbH, two more (Porcia and Peter Pan) by Schuster Linie.

At present, the issuing of permits for private motor boats is handled very restrictively. In the 1960s, combating motorboat noise was an urgent concern. The gendarmerie had admitted fifty foreign motorboats to traffic. In order not to interfere with tourism through bans, another twenty motorboats were approved.


After several algae blooms (in the summer of 1967 there was a blue-algae bloom ( Anabaena flos-aquae ), in the summers of 1969 and 1972 a bloom of the Burgundy blood algae ( Oscillatoria rubescens )), a joint action by the neighboring communities around the lake decided to build a sewerage pipeline so that no more feces could get into the water. This circular sewer system was completed in the neighboring communities from 1969 to 1973 and extended to the surrounding communities in the following years. The earlier acidification of the lake through sewage discharge from the Radenthein magnesite works is no longer a problem today due to the changed production processes. The pH value is back in the normal range. Thanks to these measures, the lake is now officially of drinking water quality .

The only known occurrence of the flexible mermaid herb ( Najas flexilis ) in Austria, a species of aquatic plant that is very sensitive to water pollution and changes in the pH value, is found in Lake Millstatt .

Cult and legend

Domitian von Kärnten : Sculpture on the Schillerstrand in Millstatt

The legend tells that the carantan duke Domitian , who had converted to Christianity, had a thousand pagan idol statues thrown into the lake, which is why the name Millstatt can be traced back to the Latin mille statuae . According to this legend, at the time of Domitian in the 8th century, the lake reached from the Calvary to the Hochgosch. Domitian had the lake led to the Lieser in order to find his son who drowned in Lake Millstatt. According to a tradition from Radenthein (recorded in 1876), the lake used to be much larger and flowed over the shine into the Drautal . Above the church of Döbriach, the iron rings for tying the ships were still visible on the rocks.

The miraculous powers ascribed to Domitian, who is revered as a saint, such as protection against storms, healing power in the event of fever or taming the powers of the Millstätter See suggest the continuation of ancient pagan, presumably Slavic water deities in the Domitian cult. This is also indicated by a pre-Christian consecration altar in the Millstatt Abbey Museum , on which a nymph with a water vessel and a fish are vaguely recognizable.


  • Bettina Golob, Wolfgang Honsing-Erlenburg (ed.): The Millstätter See. From nature and history. Natural Science Association for Carinthia , Klagenfurt 2008, ISBN 978-3-85328-047-8 .
  • Matthias Maierbrugger : The story of Millstatt . Published by the market town of Millstatt by Verlag Ferd. Kleinmayr, Klagenfurt 1964, reprint 1989, without ISBN.
  • Matthias Maierbrugger: Vacation on Lake Millstatt. A guide. Heyn Verlag, Klagenfurt, 2nd edition, 1978, ISBN 3-85366-269-2 .
  • Friedrich Koller: From the first guest to mass tourism ( Memento from July 5, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) . The influence of tourism on the change of people, the townscape and the ecology in a community using the example of Millstatt . Diploma thesis, University of Klagenfurt, 2005.
  • Heidi Rogy: Tourism in Carinthia. From the educational trip to mass tourism. History Association for Carinthia, Klagenfurt 2002, ISBN 3-85454-101-5 .

Web links

Commons : Millstätter See  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Millstätter See - general description. Carinthian Institute for Lake Research , accessed on December 1, 2019 .
  2. Millstätter See - Morphometric data. Carinthian Institute for Lake Research , accessed on October 1, 2018 .
  3. Data from Sampl et al .: On the limnology of Lake Millstatt. In: Der Millstätter See , Klagenfurt 2008, p. 66
  4. ^ Eberhard Kranzmayer : Place name book of Carinthia. Part II , Publishing House of the History Association for Carinthia, Klagenfurt 1958, p. 156f.
  5. a b Information from Jochen Schlamberger: On the geology of the area around Lake Millstatt. In: Der Millstätter See , Klagenfurt 2008, pp. 47–50.
  6. ^ Adolf Fritz: 4000 years of human settlement activity as reflected in the pollen analysis. A pollen diagram from Lake Millstatt. In: History Association for Carinthia: Carinthia I. Journal for historical regional studies of Carinthia. 189th year / 1999. pp. 43-52.
  7. ^ Axel Huber : Roman finds in the area of ​​the Millstättersee. In: Symposium on the history of Millstatt and Carinthia. 2013. Franz Nikolasch (ed.). Pp. 45-87.
  8. a b Bettina Golob: Tourism today. In: Der Millstätter See , Klagenfurt 2008, p. 251
  9. Millstätter See Tourism: Region & Places. July 2016, accessed July 20, 2016 .
  10. Province of Carinthia: Data at Millstatt (lake) measuring station / water temperature / water level. July 2016, accessed July 20, 2016 .
  11. a b Wolfgang Honsig-Erlenburg, Georg Dabernig: On the history of fishing on Lake Millstatt. In: Der Millstätter See , Klagenfurt 2008, pp. 31–34.
  12. Axel Huber: From predatory fishing to underwater photography In: KulturLandMensch, No. 2/2009, pp. 4–6. Under: Archived copy ( Memento of the original dated December 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 602 kB), accessed on September 9, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Einödertal and Mühlstädtersee In: Gabriele Goffriller (Ed.): Kyselak. Sketches of a foot trip through Austria. Jung and Jung, Salzburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-902497-52-9 , p. 126 f.
  14. Maierbrugger 1989, p. 319f.
  15. a b Heidi Rogy: From the beginnings of summer at Lake Millstatt. In: Der Millstätter See , Klagenfurt 2008, pp. 35–38
  16. ^ Heidi Rogy: Tourism in Carinthia. Klagenfurt 2002, p. 20
  17. ^ Heidi Rogy: Tourism in Carinthia. Klagenfurt 2002, p. 170ff.
  18. ^ Heidi Rogy: Tourism in Carinthia. Klagenfurt 2002, pp. 257ff.
  19. Hans Sampl et al .: On the Limnology of the Millstätter See. In: Der Millstätter See , Klagenfurt 2008, pp. 65–84
  20. ^ Friedrich Koller: From the first guest to mass tourism ( Memento from July 5, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) , Klagenfurt 2005.
  21. Millstätter See Schifffahrt: Chronicle of Millstätter Seeschifffahrt. July 2016, accessed July 20, 2016 .
  22. ^ Carinthian Institute for Lake Research : Carinthian Lake Report 2019. Millstätter See. Accessed December 1, 2019 .
  23. ^ Matthias Maierbrugger: The story of Millstatt . Klagenfurt. 1964. p. 18 f.
  24. Johannes Grabmayer: Popular belief and popular piety in late medieval Carinthia. Böhlau Verlag, Vienna a. a. 1994, ISBN 3-205-05550-0 , p. 99 ff.