Friesach is in Carinthia.
Friesach (pop. 5,000) is the oldest town in Carinthia, with the city charter dating from 1215, but the place has been inhabited since much earlier - a document from 860, signed by King Ludwig, transfers an estate "in the birch forest" ("ad friesah", from Slavic breza) in then Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. The city and the area around it was a significant center of mining industry and at the same time an important stop on the trade route from Vienna to Venice, and the silver from the local mines was used to mint the Friesach penny (pfennig), a favorite currency of traders on that route and throughout the eastern Alps. The brief period of prominence came to a slow halt with the arrival of the Habsburgs as the new Dukes of Carinthia in the 14th century, who sought to diminish the power of the Archdiocese, again ascendant from 1495 on. Friesach only finally fell to Carinthia with the disestablishment of the bishopric in 1803.
Friesach is on the main rail line between Vienna and Klagenfurt, with service to Graz available via transfer in Bruck an der Mur, and further connections to Italy via Villach. Local trains in both directions (to St Veit and Villach) depart hourly, but only a handful of through express trains stop here; consult the OEBB timetables and be ready to hop a couple of stops either way to catch them. The station is on the other bank of the river Metnitz, about 500 m northeast from the town gates along the aptly named Bahnhofstrasse.
The nearest airport is in Klagenfurt.
- 1 Petersberg Castle (Burgruine Petersberg). Ruin of castle, now the city museum.