The enchanting village of St. Johann im Walde is starting point for several hikes.
Altitude: 748 m asl
St. Johann im Walde is located in idyllic position in the Iseltal valley between Lienz and the turn-off to the Defereggental valley. Part of the municipality are St. Johann in the south of the Drau river, and Unterleibnig along the Felbertauern road. Also the farms of Oberleibing, Oblass, Öberst and Michlbach, that were once only accessible via funicular, are part of the municipality of St. Johann im Walde. Today these farms can be reached on a road.
The emblem of the municipality shows Saint John the Baptist and a stylized branch that stands for the forest, representing the name of the village, as “im Walde” means “in the forest”. In the 12th century the village used to be called “Capella s. Jaonnis in silvia” referring to Saint John the Baptist, who is also the patron saint of the local parish church. Those who prefer active holidays can experience the impressive mountains in the surroundings of the village on their bike or by foot, as there are several mountain bike and hiking trails trails. Perfect for relaxing is the bathing pond Falter with lawn for sunbathing in the neighbouring village of Huben, where you can simply sit back and enjoy the warming sun-rays.
To those who are interested in culture we warmly recommend a visit to the above mentioned parish church! The oldest part is the baptistery which dates back to the year 1177 AD. In 1503 the 43 m high tower was established, and until 1750 the church has repeatedly been enlarged towards west. Several floods damaged the church in the course of time - in the 20th century for example the cemetery and the war monument were completely destroyed and re-established later on. Also the four chapels of the village are worth to be visited: the St. Joseph chapel in Michelbach was constructed in the 18th century, whereas the Our Lady of the Snows (Maria Schnee) chapel of Oberleibing dates back to the year 1804. Also the Trinity chapel and the Seven Dolors of Mary chapel date back to that year.
Our recommendation: the village has got several associations, e.g. a country wrestling team (Ranggeln). This sports is wide-spread in the alpine area - the athletes try to pull the adversary down on his shoulders. Maybe there is a performance or a competition when you are on holidays?