The Karawanks Tunnel is the fourth longest railway tunnel in Austria and the longest in Slovenia with a length of 7,976 metres . The tunnel passes under Rožca Saddle between Rosenbach in southern Austria and Jesenice in northern Slovenia. It was an important part of the Karawanken Railway, which was - together with the Bohinj Railway - built to connect the port of Trieste with Klagenfurt, the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria.
Between 1867-1918, Trieste was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was Austria's first seaport and the principal outlet for the Austro-Hungarian Empire's ocean trade, but it lacked adequate railway communication with Austria's interior. To give a great impetus to the trade of Trieste in particular and to the over-sea trade of Austria in general, it was decided in 1901 to build the Karawanken Railway, connecting Trieste and Klagenfurt. The railway was built over and through the Karawanks, Europe's longest mountain range, on the border between what are now Slovenia and Austria. The Karawanks Tunnel was opened on October 1, 1906, by Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
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