InformationDear guests of the car meetings around our lakes!
In order to give everyone a wonderful time, we would like to point out the following:
Show respect! Protect the environment! Avoid noise!
Pay attention to the rules! Act exemplary!
We are looking forward to your coming!
The history of the Dobratsch
Elementally powerful: origin of the Dobratsch
An exciting trip to the origins of Villach’s landmark mountain
Those who wonder about the red rock face looking as if part of the mountain has been demolished or those who discover weird snail-like formations in the rock when driving on the Villach Alpine Road are right in the middle of the exciting history of the Dobratsch. We will take you on a journey through time taking us 200 million years into the past – welcome to the Mesozoic era! There’s no trace of the Dobratsch or other summit, but you’re swimming in the shallow water of a huge sea called Tethys Ocean during your time travel. Only 30 m deep tops, the sea water is at least 20 °C warm – the perfect nursery for numerous sea dwellers such as the auger shells, which can be up to 15 cm long.
The primal ocean disappears and the Alps with the Dobratsch form
60 million years ago, the proverbial plug was pulled from the bathtub that was Tethys Ocean. Slowly, very slowly – 30 million years, to be precise – the water drained off the landmass, creating today’s Mediterranean Sea. The reason for this was a truly – to this day – world-shaking occurrence: plate tectonics. The African Plate got up close and personal to the Scandinavian Plate in slow motion. The landmass squeezed between these two plates was arched upwards by this sheer force: the Alps unfolded! That’s how the thick calcareous deposits including fossilised animals rose from the bottom of the sea to unbelievable heights. Now you know why there are fossils from the primal ocean Tethys on the Dobratsch!
What happened next? Development of the Villacher Alpe until today
The Dobratsch is made of primitive limestone, which has been exposed to atmospheric exposure ever since rising up from the sea, constantly dissolving and changing. Villach’s landmark mountain therefore resembles Emmenthal cheese – pervaded by caves, chasms, fissures and drainage shafts. That’s why there are no springs on the Dobratsch. The thermal spas located at the foot of the mountain giant benefit from this geological construct. Here, the water heated in the depths of the mountain and enriched with curative substance bubbles from the earth for the benefit of many health resort guests. Now let us tell you the secret about the Rote Wand! It originated from an enormous rockslide caused by an earthquake.
You’d like to find out more about the origins of the Villacher Alpe? Then we recommend visiting the geological trail “Vom Meer zum Berg” (Eng. “From Sea to Mountain”) on the Rosstratte (car park P11).