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A crownland in the Austrian Empire , bounded on the east by Styria (Stajersko), on the north by Styria and Salzburg, on the west by the Tyrol, and on the south by Italy, Görz, and Krain ; area, 40,006 square miles; population, 370,000, of whom 65 per cent are Germans or germanized Slovenes, the remaining 35 per cent being true Slovenes. In religion 95 per cent of the inhabitants are Catholics.

The country divides itself naturally into Upper and Lower Karinthia; to the former belongs the beautiful mountain and lake region west of Beljak or Villach; to the latter, the valley of Celovec bordered by the wooded uplands of the Noric and Carnic Alps, or Karavanken (Grintavci). The climate is cold and raw owing to the glacier-capped mountains which hem it in to the south; in the summer, the temperature rises as high as 79°, and in the winter varies from 27° above to 22° below zero. In the summer, fogs cover the northern and southern valleys; storms and hail are prevalent in the interior. The highest mountains are Veliki Zvon or Gross Glockner, 12,444 feet high, with its glacier Pasterica; and Mali Zvon, 12,236 feet. The principal river is the Drave, which flows through the length of the crownland from west to east, and receives the waters of many streams. The Bela, with its magnificent falls, flows into the Tagliamento. In the watershed of the Bela there is a famed place of pilgrimage, known as Holy Blood. There are also many lakes which play an important part in the economy of the province as waterways; and the picturesqueness of those in the north-east especially, is a continual attraction to tourists. There are mineral and hot springs in Prebela, St. Lenart, Dobrava, Bela, and Teplitz near Beljak. In the valley of Levant or "Koroski vrt", grain is cultivated in abundance; cattle raising is important; oats, rye, wheat, barley, potatoes and flax are grown, and there is some trade in vines and silkworms. Mines of lead, zinc, iron, and coal are actively worked; wood-carving and weaving are carried on extensively. Silver and gold are found in the vicinity of Beljak, copper at Losanah, sulphur at Schüttbach. The country is intersected by railways and highways along the Drave from Maribor to Celvec, and from Beljak to Franzensfeste.

The principal towns are: Celovec (24,000), see of the prince-bishop, and headquarters of the Slovenian literary society of St. Mohor, which circulates 500,000 books annually among its members; St. Vid; Krka; Castle Ostrovica; Brezje; Hüttenberg; St. Andrew's, the original see of the bishop ; Sv. Kri (elevation 4620 feet); Beljak (the old Roman stronghold Santicum); Plajberg; Trbiz Pontafel; Sv. Visarje (5500 feet high). The political administration of the province is in the hands of the governor residing at Celovec. The crownland is divided into ten judicial districts. Celovec is an independent district administered by the governor. The country has its own legislature for internal affiars and sends seven delegates to the imperial diet.

To the bishop belong jus præsentationis et investituræ , and in some parishes patronatus privati ; the diocese is coextensive with the province, and is divided into 23 deaneries and 265 parishes. There are, moeover, 15 Protestant parishes. In the year 1858 Lower Karinthia belonged to the Bishop of Maribor, Styria, who in the previous year had moved his see from St. Andrew's when that district was incorporated with the Bishopric of Klagenfurt. The diocesan seminary is at Celovec; and there are 12 monasteries. There are 379 schools and 4 colleges. The public schools are supported by the local government; German is used in 210, Slovenian in 129, and in 40 schools both languages are tuaght. The Benedictines have a college at St. Paul.


The name Karinthia is derived from Karni , a Celtic people. The Slovenian name Korosko , originates from the tribe of the same name, the Korotani, or Gorotani, people dwelling in the mountains. The Celtic people Taurisci were there in the fourth century B.C., but in the first century at the time of Augustus, Karinthia formed a part of Noricum. At the endo of the sixth century of the Christian era the land was peopled by Slovenes flying from the persecutions of the Avars. At that time Noricum was claimed by the Frankish kings, devastated by Germanic migration, and passed into the hands of the dukes of Vavaria. Tassil, Duke of Bavaria, ravaged the country, but in the following year (596) the Slovenes were avenged. Tassil died in 612, and was succeeded by his son Garibaldi II, who was defeated by the Slovenes at Agunt. In alliance with the parent stock, they threw off the Avar yoke and elected Samo as king (627). The Franks, Langobardi, and Alamanni did not look with friendly eyes on this new state, and King Dagobert declared war against Samo; the Slovenes, though victorious, suffered severely, and then invaded Bavaria ; they settled themselves, later, up and down Furlany, Tyrol, and Salzburg. Karinthia had its own princes subject to the governor of Styia, eastern Tyrol and Krain, and in 705 successfully defended its boundaries against the Duke of Furlany. The first Slovene Prince of Karinthia was Borut (748), vassal of the Franks and of Pepin the Short. Borut died and was succeeded by his son Karath, and his grandson Hotimer, who was the last prince of the old ruling family. After the defeat of the Langobardi and Tassil, Duke of Bavaria, Charlemagne took possession of Karinthia, and made it a margravate.

The beginnings of Christianity in Karinthia are lost in obscurity, though it is certain that the Gospel came from Aquileia and from Salzburg. In the days of Samo, St. Amand came to preach in southwestern Noricum (630). Bishop Rupert of Worms was invited to build churches and to erect monasteries. His successor Vitalis was more successful among the Slovenes. The dukes of Bavaria and bishops of Salzburg, especially Tassil II (748 to 788) and Virgilius, laboured to Christianize Karinthia. The latter deserves to be called the Apostle of the Slovenes in Karinthia. The oldest churches are Our Lady's, and the church of Paterjon at Turji. Arnus, successor to Virgilius, appointed Theodoric (803) Bishop of Karinthia. In the first half of the ninth century there were three bishops on Karinthian soil. From 788 to 976, the country was subject to the Frankish and German emperors; by the Treaty of Verdun (843) it passed into the hands of Louis the German, whose grandson Arnulf was the first to bear the title of Duke of Karinthia. Louis gave the province to his son Carloman (856), who in a short time allied himself with his father's enemy, Rastislav Moravski. For this he was imprisoned by his father, but was afterwards released and given command of Bavaria, Karinthia, and part of Pannonia. After Carloman's death, Arnulf joined Upper Pannonia to the ecclesiastical district of Karinthia; about this time the Slavonic liturgy and gospels, as translated by Sts. Cyril and Methodius , were introduced into Karinthia, but the bishops of Salzburg were opposed to the liturgy. The counts of Furlany tried to gain control of Karinthia and Croatia, but were defetaed by Louis, Prince of the Pannonian Croats, who repulsed the invasion of Balderic (819). Ingo, a Slovene prince (c. 828) was famous for his piety and charity.

Louis the Child, Otto I, and Henry II disregarded the invasion of the Huns, and Karinthia was left to defend itself. The Langobardi of Germany took possession of the Zilli valley; and all the possessions of the natives who fell in battle were given to German settlers, or to churches or monasteries of German origin. From 976 to 1335 Karinthia was the property of various ruling families. Emperor Otto III separated it from Bavaria (995). In the twelfth century the noble family of Sponheim held it, and when that family became extinct (1269) the Bohemian king, Ottocar II, took possession of the province. In the year 1072, the Diocese of Karinthia, now known as Klagenfurt or Krska skofija, was founded by Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg. It had six monasteries for Dominican and Benedictine nuns. Henry V tried to gain possession of the church property, but Bishop Konrad censured him, and forced him to desist. Duke Engelbert made a like attempt, but was brought to penance by Leopold the Holy. Ottacar II renounced all his possessions save Bohemia and Moravia ; and Karinthia came under the rule of Rudolf of Hapsburg, German Emperor, who handed over its administration to Count Mainhardt of Tyrol in return for a loan of 30,000 ducats. That family becoming extinct in 1335, the Austrian Duke Albrecht took possession of the land, and since then it has been joined to the empire. The "Iron" Duke Ernest (1414), was the last to be appointed Duke of Karinthia according to the old usage and right. The Turks plundered the country many times; in 1476 and in 1478 they invaded the villages, and in 1493 laid siege to Beljak. At this time the serfs, to the number of 6000, dissatisfied with the money standard, took up arms under pretext of defending the country against the Turks, but at the first sight of them they fled, and many thousands were captured. The revolt started again in 1515 for better administration of justice, and was settled on 24 April, 1518, and an imperial decree proclaimed the city of Celovec capital of Karinthia.

Three bishoprics, Salzburg, Bamberg, and Goriska, had possessions in Karinthia. But in 1529 and 1532 one-third of them were secularized, and sold by the governor to meet military expenses. Bamberg sold Maria Theresa its whole property for one million florins, and 4 per cent bonds amounting to 351,000 florins. The Diocese of Salzburg, in 1803 and 1806, lost all its possessions through confiscation. The first Apostle of Lutheranism in Karinthia was one Volk Todt, guardian of the minorites at Volkesberg; and after him a rich peasant and mine owner, Veitmoser; later on came more ardent preachers from German universities. The miners were agents in the work of Protestantism, for they were all Germans. Emperor Ferdinand favoured Utraquism, but started a counter-reformation, cleared his court of Protestants, and appointed a practical Catholic, Count Nagoral, as governor of Karinithia. A demand was made on Ferdinand for freedom of religion, which he denied, and the repression of Protestantism went on. The Bishop of Seckau, Martin Brenner, with an armed force searched Lutheran houses and churches, burned their books, and called on all to swear allegiance to the Catholic Faith or to leave the province. He was a Utraquist, and appointed priests to the vacant parishes, and in a short time nearly all the country was Catholic.

In the year 1604 the Jesuits came to Celovec and were given the church of Holy Trinity. Joseph II centralized the government. In the war of 1809 Austria ceded to Napoleon the district of Beljak, and he joined it to Illyria. In 1815 it was given back to Austria, and since 1825, together with the district of Celovec, it has formed part of Austrian Illyria, subject to the imperial governor at Ljubljana. Karinthia was proclaimed an independent crownland in the year 1849.

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