Gurk (river)

The Gurk (Slovene: Krka) is a river in the Austrian state of Carinthia, a left tributary of the Drava. With a length of 156 km (97 mi),[3] it is the longest river running entirely within Carinthia. The river basin covers about 27% of the state's territory.

Gurk River near Grafenstein
Physical characteristics
  locationGurksee and Torersee, Albeck
  elevation1,970 m (6,460 ft) (Gurksee)
2,010 m (6,590 ft) (Torersee)
Drava near Völkermarkt
46°36′35″N 14°31′36″E
Length155.6 km (96.7 mi) [1]
Basin size2,585.1 km2 (998.1 sq mi) [2]
Basin features
ProgressionDravaDanubeBlack Sea

The Gurk rises in the Nock Mountains (Gurktal Alps) range of the Central Eastern Alps, near the border with the Austrian state of Styria. Its sources are two small cirque lakes, the Gurksee and the Torersee near Albeck and the Turracher Höhe Pass, a protected area since 1981. The Gurksee has an elevation of 1,970 m (6,460 ft), an area of 4,000 m2 (43,000 sq ft), and is 1.5 m (4.9 ft) deep; the Torersee lies 2,010 m (6,590 ft) above sea level, has an area of 3,500 m2 (38,000 sq ft), and is 1.2 m (3.9 ft) deep. Since both lake are completely frozen in the winter, they contain no fish.

It flows southwest to Ebene Reichenau and then turns eastwards running through Gnesau and the Gurktal valley to the market town of Gurk. Near Straßburg it again turns to the south, enters the Klagenfurt basin, and flows into the Drava west of Völkermarkt.

Its tributaries include the Görtschitz, the Metnitz (left), and the Glan (right).


  • The information in this article is based on a translation of its German equivalent.
  • W. Honsig-Erlenburg, G. Wieser: Die Gurk und ihre Seitengewässer. Verlag des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins für Kärnten, Klagenfurt 1997, ISBN 3-85328-009-9

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