Obertilliach, counting about 700 souls, is situated in the upper Lesachtal valley. On 1.450 metres above sea level it lies between the Lienz Dolomites and the Carnic Alps. Gail river flows through the valley, the climate is a little rough since life can be hard in the mountains, as we say here. Especially those who like short winters and placid autumns will not feel happy in Obertilliach. Agriculture is not easy up here, since the early autumn frosts and the long-lasting snow make farm life rather difficult. But don’t worry: Right those are the strenghts of Obertilliach. The climate may be a little rough, but you are rewarded with a landscape, that is as beautiful as rough. Obertilliach has been first mentioned in the second half of the 11th century, maybe it had been a Welsh horse pasture. Around 1375 AD Silesian emigrants should have settled down, but there is no historic evidence for this. Uncontested is the marvellous position and those who found Obertilliach had really found a beautiful place on earth.
The tourism intensity in Obertilliach is three times that of the district average. A good value, that is attributed to the position and also to the great number of possibilities in and around Obertilliach. A great place for vacation, since there are incredible four 5-star hotels and many private facilities and holiday homes. A decisive sports attraction is the biathlon centre, connected to the 60 km long Grenzlandloipe. No wonder that even Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Björndalen is resident of Obertilliach. A good choice, and he and all other guests can do much more than “only” cross-country skiing. The offers range from skiing over mountain biking, paragliding to hiking. The legendary Peace Trail is very close. The village itself features - last but not least - some sacral and profane listed buildings that tell about the comprehensive history of the village. Especially worth seeing is the parish church Saint Ulrich. Particularly interesting is also the marvellous farmhouse Wastinger.
The village of Obertilliach is a feast for the eyes! The narrow alleys of this listed village centre with its 300-year-old farmhouses have enchanted many painters and photographers. The “mountaineers’ village” Obertilliach is still watched by Austria’s last night watchman, Helmut Egartner, who makes his patrol through the village twice a week (on Tuesdays and Fridays) looking at “Foir und Liacht”!
The heart of cultural life of our mountain village is the Band of Obertilliach. In 1821 the priest bought nine instruments in order to solemnly arrange processions and religious feasts. On July 27, 1823 16 musicians from Obertilliach played for the Austrian crown prince Archduke Ferdinand in Sillian. Meantime the band grew to 50 musicians and lots of them are very young active musicians. Especially during the summer months and at the turn of the year the concerts of the band enrich the cultural offer, but their service is also requested in the numerous religious occasions.
The “Plattler” and Folk Dance Group Obertilliach counts 9 pairs at the moment who care and transmit traditional dances and Platter dances. It is a special honour to show these skills a larger audience, maybe in occasion of the folk evenings „Tilliacher Volkstumsabenden“ at „Unterwöger Gastgarten“ .
The male choir Obertilliach is one of the younger associations and has members from all classes of population. Some passionate singers founded the group 25 years ago and over the years they worked on a representative repertoire of profane and spiritual songs. Physician, skiing instructor, farmer, municipal officer and teachers form this choir who has already registered a CD. Nearly all of them show their music talent even in the band or the church choir. The 25th anniversary with the slogan “G’sungen und G’spielt” is celebrated with a mountain mass on July 14 near the “Kutteschupfen” below Golzentipp!
To put it in a nutshell – the inhabitants of Obertilliach are very social and hospitable “mountain people”!