About the municipality

Numbers, dates & facts

Size: 54,07 km2

Villages: Dolintschitschach, Feistritz ob Bleiburg, Gonowetz, Hinterlibitsch, Hof, Lettenstätten, Penk, Pirkdorf, Rischberg, Ruttach-Schmelz, St. Michael ob Bleiburg, Tscherberg, Unterlibitsch, Unterort, Winkel

Population: 2191 (01.01.2023)

Altitude: 486 bis 2.114 above sea level (Petzen)

The first human traces go back to the Urn Culture, about 1000 years before our era. Evidence of this is a bronze tool found in 1963 near the Feistritz spring. During the construction of the railway in 1873, a burial mound with grave goods was discovered near the village of Tscherberg. Further cremation graves from the Hallstatt period were found in 1885. In 1952, traces of a fortified settlement from the 7th to 5th century BC were discovered on Katharinakogel. The oldest gold ever found in Carinthia was discovered on Katharinakogel in the summer of 1999. Already in the 1st century AD there was a Roman road here on the Petzen slope, which is still clearly visible today. Many finds in Unterlibitsch, Hof and Pirkdorf indicate the presence of the Romans. Feistritz/Bistrica (= place by the stream) is mentioned for the first time in a document from 1261, which mentions a knightly ministerial "Fridericus de Veustricz" - appointed by the Heinburgs to their estates in Feistritz. In September 1473 there was the first invasion of the Turks, who set up their main camp in Pirkdorf (near today's Buschenschank Tschaitschmann vlg. Schatter). This was followed in 1480 by invasions by the Hungarians.


With the referendum in 1920, there were also some changes in the boundaries of the municipality. In 1921, for example, the municipality of Feistritz ob Bleiburg received the parts of the municipality of Schwarzenbach/Crna that had not fallen to Yugoslavia (today Slovenia), nine houses of the municipality of Mießberg (today Rischberg) with 41 inhabitants and extensive forest areas on the northern slope of the Petzen. The municipality was not visible on the map for almost two decades. The "marriage" with Bleiburg, which was enforced by the state at the time, was finally "divorced" by decree of the Carinthian state government on 31 December 1990 on the basis of the result of a referendum. Feistritz-Bistrica thus became an independent municipality in the district of Völkermarkt.

The following data and content were created with the utmost care. However, the market town of Feistritz ob Bleiburg cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information.

Around 1850:

At the time of the foundation of the municipality (around 1850) Feistritz was an economically flourishing place.

Until 1945:

6 forges, mainly nail forges; 8 mills, some of which existed until 1950; 6 sawmills; department store. At that time Feistritz was already of economic importance for the whole region.

1950s to 1972:

two sawmills, mill, cannery (until about 1960), mattress factory, locksmith's shop and agricultural machinery trade, several carpentry stores and other small businesses; due to the development of the Petzen - increase in the attractiveness of the community for tourism.


Petzen mountain railroads:

1966: Foundation of the Petzen-Bergbahnen GmbH
1967: The first chairlift from the valley station to the Petzen was built and was considered the longest chairlift in Europe at that time.
1993: Construction of the cable car
2003: Construction of the snow-making system
2014: Opening of the Flow Country Trail
2015: Until this year, the Petzen-Bergbahnen GmbH operated the ski area Petzen and in 2014, for economic reasons, a closure of the winter operation was in the offing. The state of Carinthia and Kärnten Tourismus Holding GmbH (KTH) put their business share (99.03%) in Petzen Bergbahnen GmbH up for sale in connection with the takeover of operations. In this tender process, the contract was awarded to F.S. Immobilienverwaltungs GmbH (Managing Director Franz Skuk).
2017: Purchase of a chairlift

Construction of a panoramic guesthouse at 1,708 m above sea level


Automotive industry:

1969: Company foundation (filter factory St. Michael) by Tesnilka Medvode and Franz Mlinar
1970: Start-up of a filter factory with 50 employees
1971: Entry of the company Knecht Filterwerke Stuttgart
1991: Withdrawal of the Yugoslavian shareholder and takeover of the shares by Knecht Filterwerke GmbH, Stuttgart
2003: Change of name to MAHLE Filtersysteme Austria GmbH

Joint venture between MAHLE and BOSCH for the purpose of manufacturing exhaust gas turbochargers

2008: Start of construction of the exhaust gas turbocharger plant in St. Michael ob Bleiburg

As a supplier to the automotive industry, MAHLE Filtersysteme Austria GmbH manufactures fuel filters, oil filter modules, and air filter systems and is one of the largest employers in the Lower Carinthia region at its location in St. Michael ob Bleiburg. BMTS Technology Austria GmbH & Co KG is a supplier in the field of exhaust gas turbochargers, hybrid technology and autonomous driving.


Acquisition of the area at Lake Pirkdorf by F.S. Immobilienverwaltungs GmbH (Managing Director Franz Skuk) and expansion of the tourist offer (Petzencamping Pirkdorfer See, Chaletpark Petzen, Lakeside Petzen Glamping). Lake Pirkdorf is a dredged lake and was built around the middle of the 1980s. At the location of today's bathing lake there was originally a wetland.

The entire market community of Feistritz ob Bleiburg / Bistrica nad Pliberkom is a bilingual community in the sense of the Ethnic Groups Act 1976. In the 1910 census, 99.1% of the population of Feistritz stated "Slovene" as their colloquial language. In the last census in 2001, 33% professed the Slovene language and 67% stated "German" as their colloquial language. In the 1920 referendum, 64.7% (653 votes) voted for annexation to Southern Slavia. In addition to ethnicity, economic considerations were also decisive. For centuries, however, these two ethnic groups have by and large lived and worked peacefully together, mutually enriching each other through economy and culture. Today, all place names in the municipality are bilingual. The primary school and the kindergarten are also multilingual.

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The right to bear a coat of arms according to the following description was granted to the market town of Feistritz ob Bleiburg by the Carinthian Provincial Government on 23.10.1992: In a green shield a golden slanting wave bar, above accompanied by a royal crown, below by a scale. The flag shows the colours green-yellow with an incorporated coat of arms. The crown recalls the legend of King Mathias Corvinus. The scales recall St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of the original parish of St. Michael (a foundation of the Hollenburgers in the year 1050). The wavy band symbolises the Feistritzbach, which meanders through the parish.

On 3 July 2008, the Carinthian Parliament decided that the municipality of Feistritz ob Bleiburg has the right to bear the title of market municipality with effect from 30 August 2008.


The elevation to the status of market town was made in recognition of the historical, cultural, economic and touristic development and the importance of the town beyond its borders.

Digital map & statistics services
around Feistritz ob Bleiburg


On the overview map in KAGIS you can view our municipality in the Carinthian Geoinformation System (KAGIS). Various map collections or thematic areas are available (e.g. local map).


Take a look at the statistical data of our municipality on the homepage of Statistik Austria (Federal Statistical Office of Austria).