city, southern Austria, on the Drava (Drau) River at the eastern foot of the Villacher Alps, west of Klagenfurt. It originated as the Roman town of Bilachinium and formed part of the bishopric of Bamberg from 1007 to 1759. An important trade centre in the Middle Ages, it declined after new trade routes were opened up. Commerce revived in the 19th century. Notable landmarks in the city are the parish church of St. Jakob (reconstructed 14th-15th centuries) with a detached tower (311 feet [95 metres]), the Heiligenkreuzkirche (1726-38), and the town hall (c. 1570), which was rebuilt after its destruction in World War II. Villach is the commercial centre of the state of Karnten and its main railway junction. Manufactures include cellulose, wood products, machinery, electronic and electrical products, and chemicals; there are also breweries and food-processing plants. Warmbad Villach, noted for its mineral baths, is nearby, and Villach itself is a tourist centre for the Karnten lake district. The city also serves as a regional market and service centre for the large rural hinterland. Pop. (2006) 58,290.
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