The most famous of Klagenfurt’s statues the Lindworm has finally been repaired after the tail of the dragon figure was in danger of falling off.
The famous dragon statue has become the unofficial symbol of the city and is
frequently featured on tourism literature both locally and for Austria as well.
The statue was built to commemorate the 13th century story of a lindworm or Dragon that lived near Klagenfurt. Flooding threatened travelers along the river, and the presence of a dragon was blamed. The story tells that a Duke offered a reward for anyone who could capture it, so a group of young men tied a bull to a chain, and when the lindworm swallowed the bull, it was hooked like a fish and killed.
Ironically the head of the 1590 lindworm statue in Klagenfurt is modeled on the
skull of a wooly rhinoceros found in a nearby quarry in 1335. It has been cited as
the earliest reconstruction of an extinct animal.
The repair work on the over 400-year-old statue was started in May and has now been completed, and the waterfall now be reactivated over which the Dragon stands guard.
Local councillor said the damage this time was done by a combination of vandalism and the extreme cold of the previous winter.
The tale has been damaged only two other times in the past. Once was when Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops invaded and several soldiers climbed onto the tale which broke off in 1797. The second time was in 1945 when a group of British soldiers sat on the tail and it snapped off again.