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!
Villach Alpine Road history
History of the Villach Alpine Road
The successful struggle for one of Austria’s most beautiful panoramic roads
Enthusiasm for the Alps grew immensely in the 19th century. The formation of mountain guide associations, the construction of alpine huts and the search for increasingly more reckless routes up to Austria’s mountains fuelled natural scientists and alpinists, closely followed by mountain-enthusiastic tourists, who associated romance and nativeness with the Alps. It comes as no surprise that the first plans for developing the Dobratsch date back to exactly this time. The initial idea rejected an alpine road in favour of a railroad track, followed closely by an elevated steel cable railway. Against the backdrop of increased motorisation, a plan for constructing the Villach Alpine Road was drawn up in 1912, but it was to take several decades before work on the road commenced.
Two steps forward, one step back: the long journey to the Villach Alpine Road
The plan for constructing the road up to the Dobratsch was revisited again and again over the years that followed, yet discarded for many different versions. A preference for other alpine development projects and both World Wars meant that the plans were shelved. The idea of a Dobratsch road returned to the centre of interest after the end of World War II. Once again, Franz Wallack, architect of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, stepped up to the plate. He argued in favour of the high road, and so the Carinthian Parliament approved the project in 1953. Breaking ground for the construction of the Villach Alpine Road only took place on 3 June 1961, and it was hoped that the mountain road would bring in important revenue from tourism.
Difficult construction of the panoramic Villach road up to the Dobratsch
All enthusiasm, particularly on Franz Wallack’s part, aside: building the mountain road into the limestone of the Dobratsch was a first-class technical challenge. It was impossible to use large road-building machinery, and so manual drilling and blasting were resorted to. More than 100 workers wrestled with the jagged rock until the “showpiece of road construction art” was finally unofficially handed over to traffic on 12 December 1964. Around 300,000 m³ of stone and rock had been moved about and 135 tonnes of explosive used! In addition, extensive precautionary measures to protect the water in the mountain were taken. On 17 July 1965, 69 years after the first attempt, the day had finally come: Austria’s President Franz Jonas opened the 16.5 km long and 6 m wide Villach Alpine Road. The way for vehicular traffic up to the Dobratsch had finally been cleared.