Ebene Reichenau with St Martin Church
Coat of arms
Location within Austria
|Coordinates: 46°51′N 13°55′E|
|• Mayor||Karl Lessiak (SPÖ)|
|• Total||113.99 km2 (44.01 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,095 m (3,593 ft)|
|• Density||16/km2 (41/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
The municipal area is situated in the upper valley of the Gurk River within the Nock Mountains range (part of the Gurktal Alps). In the north, the road from Feldkirchen leads up to Turracher Höhe Pass and Turracher See at a height of 1,763 m (5,784 ft) AA on the border with Predlitz-Turrach in Styria and further down into the Mur Valley. Another small mountain lake is Falkertsee at 1,872 m (6,142 ft) in the west. Reichenau is the eastern terminus of the Nockalmstraße scenic route through the Nock Mountains to Krems.
Reichenau consists of the cadastral communities Ebene Reichenau, Sankt Lorenzen, Sankt Margarethen, Wiedweg, and Winkl.
The remote and densely forested area of the upper Gurk Valley was settled by Celtic colonists when the region was part of the Noricum kingdom, which in 15 BC was incorporated as a province of the Roman Empire. From about 590 Alpine Slavs immigrated into the lower parts of the valley, followed by Bavarian settlers in the 10th century.
In the High Middle Ages, when the area was part of the Duchy of Carinthia, the valley belonged to the estates of Millstatt Abbey. From about 1300 the Benedictine monks had large parts of the woodland cleared. The village of Reichenau (possibly derived from German: Rauch, "smoke" referring to slash-and-burn agriculture) was first mentioned in a 1332 deed. A chapel in the neighbouring village of Sankt Lorenzen at a height of 1,477 m (4,846 ft) (today the highest situated parish church in Carinthia) was already documented in 1216.
Seats in the municipal assembly (Gemeinderat) as of 2009 elections:
- Siegfried Grabner (born 1975), snowboarder
- "Dauersiedlungsraum der Gemeinden Politischen Bezirke und Bundesländer - Gebietsstand 1.1.2018". Statistics Austria. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
- "Einwohnerzahl 1.1.2018 nach Gemeinden mit Status, Gebietsstand 1.1.2018". Statistics Austria. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- (in German) Municipal site
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