Since 1518, it has been the capital of Carinthia. Archaeological excavations have uncovered Celtic and Roman artifacts in the neighborhood and on the outskirts of the modern city. The first medieval settlement in the immediate vicinity of Klagenfurt was to its north; this dated from the second half of the 12th century and was the creation of Duke Herman I of Carinthia. Around 1193, Klagenfurt was declared a market. Between 1246 and 1252, another local duke, Bernhard of Sponheim, laid the groundwork of the modern city. It was mentioned as a town by 1279.
   Heavily fortified in the 16th century, Klagenfurt was a center of Protestantism during the Reformation. Lutheran nobles of Carinthia were responsible for the construction of what are today some of its most important municipal buildings. The modern cathedral is a rebuilt Protestant church from the 16th century; the current assembly hall of the Carinthian provincial legislature was built between 1574 and 1594 to house the Carinthian estates. The Counter-Reformation of the 17th century, which forced many middle-class as well as aristocratic residents of the territory into exile, began an economic decline in the region. Conditions grew bleaker as veins of precious metals once mined in the vicinity also ran out.
   In 1719, Emperor Charles VI made the Habsburg port city of Trieste a center for his Oriental Trading Company. Although in itself this did not make the Habsburg Empire a major competitor in European mercantile enterprises, it markedly increased commercial activity in the southeast of the Habsburg lands. Lying conveniently to the north of Trieste, Klagenfurt revived as a transit point in north–south trade. A center of revolutionary activity in 1848–1849, Klagenfurt was made an autonomous city in 1850. With a population in 2006 of 92,404, Klagenfurt today has become especially important in the service sector of the Austrian economy. With its proximity to Lake Wörth, it also benefits from the intense summer vacation business of the region.
   See also Catholicism; Religion.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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