Sillian, which has 2077 inhabitants, is one of the big-hitters among the towns in East Tyrol. It is gradually moving up into the real premier league, when you compare it with other towns in the so-called Oberland area in East Tyrol. Here, Sillian, even as the main town, is the town which has the most inhabitants. Yet it is not just this that makes Sillian an appealing excursion and holiday destination. It is also its location which marks out Sillian in particular. The town is located at the foot of the Thurntal, which towers majestically at 2407 metres and almost as if by magic draws the gazes of guests to it. Another special feature which is found in Sillian, and nowhere else in East Tyrol, is that Sillian is a real “borderline case”. The western edge of the town is also the state border between Austria and Italy. So you almost have one foot in “Bella Italia”, when you are in South Tyrol.
When it comes to beauty, Sillian doesn’t have to hide away from South Tyrol, quite the opposite. Sillian is a real paradise, for hikers in particular and it is an excellent starting point for very motivated, keen hikers. That’s because in the south, Sillian is bordered by the so-called Carnic Ridge. The Carnic altitude trail provides the perfect opportunity to pursue the trend of long-distance hiking. For all the lovely features and the best starting position which you find in Sillian, the presumed meaning of the name “Sillian” is then somewhat incongruous. Since the name Sillian seems to be of Alpine-Roman origin and is derived from the word “Silicana”, or building rubble area. Less than complimentary and not wholly in keeping with the Sillian of today. Another source, which relates to the earlier description of the Villgratenbach, is much better - as this had earlier been called Sill. These days Sillian, as well as being a hiking paradise, is also a town which is very well suited to families.
One special tip located in Sillian is “Wichtelpark”. There are also a few really lovely and interesting buildings in Sillian, which are also especially sacred. The ‘Maria Himmelfahrt’ pilgrimage church is a real gem and is really quite old. It was first mentioned in written documents in 1326.