Maria Wörth


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Maria Wörth in Austria and Freising in Germany have a strong connection through their history. The first church in Maria Wörth was owned by the Bistum Freising and founded after 822. At the beginning 7th century in the late ancient Carinthia magnificent poilitical ethnographic and cultural changes happened.

It was given documentary evidence on July 21, 891 when it happened in the area of Upper Carinthia that Arnulf von Kärtnen gave the royal chapel of Liburnia as a gift to the church of Maria Wörth. This deed of gift is the first written document proving the existence of the church Maria Wörth.
The following years the Karantanian Principality was established and ruled the Carinthian area for 200 years.The old name Noricum changed into 'Karantanien'.


During the coming years Bishop Waldo von Freising, as close friend of Arnulf, enlarged the property round the lake.This way the church in Maria Wörth developed into a mission centre. When emperor Arnulf and Bishop Waldo died, the upturn had to suffer a severe set-back. Only because Bishop Abraham of Freising going into exile then the mission gained importance again.

Todays local community has its beginning in Budapest/Hungary. Emperor Franz Joseph, being the King of Hungary worked from here in his public office now and then. And here was the place where his civil servants presented to him a territory change for the municipality of Keutschach and Schiefling. Those two municipality should be divided in such a way, so the community Maria Wörth/Reifnitz could be originated as the borders of today. The emperor signed this decree on March 13, 1903 and therefore the new community district was founded.


A larger church was built dedicted to Virgin Mary. Therefore the precondition for setting up a place name with Maria was given. Both churches and the 'Karner' situated at the peninsula in Maria Wörth are symbols of the 'Lake Wörther' (Wörthersee). The island church was missionary and centre of cultural life over the centuries as well.



Walk a covered stairway up to the church, today named 'Pfarrkirche', sourrounded by a graveyard. Not only Carinthias well known poet Josef Friedrich Perkonig wanted to be burried here. 'I have searched a long time for a cemeterio where some day I would like to rest in peace'. Inmidst this cemeterio jutting out out of the lake like an island stands the church, spirituell centre of a historic place.


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