Feistritz im Rosental

Feistritz im Rosental (Slovene: Bistrica v Rožu) is a market town in the district of Klagenfurt-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia.

Feistritz im Rosental
St John parish church

Coat of arms
Feistritz im Rosental
Location within Austria
Coordinates: 46°31′N 14°10′E
  MayorSonya Feinig (SPÖ)
  Total71.73 km2 (27.70 sq mi)
549 m (1,801 ft)
  Density35/km2 (90/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code04228


It is located in the Rosental, the U-shaped valley of the Drava river north of the Karawanks mountain range along the Periadriatic Seam. The valley is named after the Carinthian noble house of Ras, who had Rosegg Castle built around 1200. It is a traditional settlement area of Carinthian Slovenes. The Karawanks in the south form the border with Upper Carniola.

The municipal area stretches from the Drava and neighbouring Ludmannsdorf beyond the river up to Mt. Stol (Hochstuhl), the highest peak of the Karawanks range at 2,236 m (7,336 ft) which can be reached via the Bärental (Rute) high valley. It comprises the cadastral communities of Feistritz (Bistrica), Gansdorf, Hundsdorf (Podsinja vas), Matschach (Mače), Suetschach (Sveče), and Weizelsdorf (Svetna vas).


Feistritz was a historic site of iron ore processing at least since the 16th century. The Bärental mines later supplied the raw material for the production of steel wire used for telegraphy. During the early stages of industrialisation, a large rolling mill was founded in 1840. It was replaced as main employer by a battery manufacturing site (Bären-Batterie) in 1938, until the production was shut down in 1998.

The present-day municipality was established in 1850, at first called Suetschach. It merged with neighbouring Weizelsdorf in 1973 and received the status of a market town in 1996.

In the Carinthian Plebiscite of 1920, Sankt Jakob was one of the 17 Carinthian municipalities, where the majority of the population (55%) voted for the annexation by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia).


According to the 2001 census 13.3% of the population are Carinthian Slovenes. The municipality is made up of eight villages:

Village Number of people 1991 Percent of Slovenes 1991 Percent of Slovenes 1951
Hundsdorf / Podsinja vas 157 14.6% 81.5%
St.Johann i.R. / Šentjanž v R. 279 42.3% 84.5%
Matschach/Mače 114 16.7% 77.5%
Suetschach/Sveče 574 13.4% 57.7%
Rabenberg / Šentjanške Rute 24 45.8% 92.5%
Feistritz i R. / Bistrica v Rožu 1054 6.7% 16.4%
Bärental/Zavrh 21 0% 77.3%
Weizelsdorf / Svetna vas 323 5.3% 45.4%


Seats in the municipal assembly (Gemeinderat) as of 2015 local elections:

Notable people

Notable natives of Feistritz include the Slovene politician and editor Andrej Einspieler (1813-1888) and the diplomat Valentin Inzko (born 1949), who was born in Suetschach, where he lives with his wife Bernarda Fink (b. 1955). The Nordic skier Tomaz Druml (b. 1988) was also born in Feistritz.

The sculptor France Gorše (1897-1986), a native from Zamostec, lived in the village of Suetschach, where he established an artist's studio in 1974, now open to the public. Also the politician and former Carinthian governor Jörg Haider (1950-2008) lived in Bärental.


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