Great fires, earthquakes, invasions of locusts and the odd attack from marauding Ottoman invaders have been inflicted upon Klagenfurt down the years.
On the outskirts of the picturesque southern Austrian town, at a stadium built for the 2008 European Championships, St Johnstone cooked up a bit of a footballing storm.
A 1-1 draw against LASK, who use the Worthersee Stadion as their temporary home and had a 6-1 win in it last week, is a fantastic result.
There will be a nagging feeling of what might have been, given the fact that Saints took the lead through Chris Kane and passed up two glorious opportunities to stretch further in front in the second half.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) August 19, 2021
Also, the penalty equaliser they gave away was high on the ‘cheap’ scale.
But LASK are a side with an excellent record in Europe over recent seasons.
And Saints were better than them for large spells of the contest.
Hope probably outweighed expectation when Callum Davidson’s men took Galatasaray back to Perth after a 1-1 draw.
With Europa Conference League group stage qualification at stake next Thursday night, it should be the other way around.
Saints have done more than just keep the tie alive.
They had to soak up early pressure in Istanbul a fortnight ago and it was the same here.
There weren’t even 30 seconds on the clock when a quick Peter Michorl free-kick sent Husein Balic charging into the box.
Jamie McCart was alive to the danger, though, and he drifted across the backline to block Balic’s shot.
Then the Thomas Goiginger corner that followed was sent goalwards by Jan Boller at the near post and the save by Zander Clark was an excellent one.
Davidson’s line-up was an attacking one, with Shaun Rooney preferred to James Brown at wing-back and both Glenn Middleton and Michael O’Halloran on from the start.
Saints certainly had the pace to trouble LASK on the counter and on one such occasion, Middleton powered his way to the byeline and had O’Halloran in mind with his cutback.
Andres Andrade read the situation well, however, and intercepted.
Just as in Turkey, staying in the game after a bit of a worrying beginning got its reward with St Johnstone scoring the opener.
And it was a superb passage of play that produced it.
McCart released O’Halloran, who linked up well with Middleton.
The best bit was yet to come – the on-loan Rangers man’s cross that took out the LASK centre-backs and Kane’s near post run and deft finish, much like the one that broke the hearts of St Mirren fans at Hampden Park.
It will go down as one of the great St Johnstone European goals.
That was on 17 minutes and two minutes later it could have been 2-0.
Middleton versus the two right-sided LASK defenders was proving to be a mismatch and when he went on another of his runs and sent the ball into the box it found its way out to Ali McCann on the 18-yard line.
McCann’s strike wasn’t the sweetest but it needed a full-length stretch from Alexander Schlager to keep it out at his left hand post.
Turning the match in their favour was impressive stuff from Saints but so too was taking the pace and drama out of it for the next 20 minutes or so.
It was the sort of game-management European competition demands.
Even when you’re in control there’s still the possibility of a team of LASK’s calibre changing the narrative in an instant, mind you.
And that nearly happened three minutes before the break when Boller let fly with a 30-yard rocket that Clark tipped over the bar.
LASK boss Dominik Thalhammer made a substitution for the start of the second half – Alexander Schmidt for Balic.
There was a bit more urgency to the hosts’ play and Saints didn’t look too convincing when an inswinging corner flashed across the six-yard line. In the end they got a bit fortunate that the ball didn’t sit up nicely for Mamoudou Karamoko.
Not as fortunate as LASK were to remain just one behind, it has to be said.
A great chance for St. Johnstone to double their lead! 😮
Glenn Middleton just couldn't get the ball under control to get the shot off 😬 pic.twitter.com/35O4Uzje7A
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) August 19, 2021
Two wonderful opportunities were spurned by Saints in two minutes.
First Murray Davidson had a free header from a Middleton free-kick that he directed straight at Schlager.
And then, after O’Halloran had broken through two challenges and slipped the ball into the path of Middleton, the Scotland international took not one but two clumsy touches and he was then ushered out wide.
So often games turn on missed chances like these and that’s exactly what happened in Klagenfurt.
A lazy leg was hung out by McCart in the box and the knee on knee contact with Goiginger was enough to earn LASK their chance to restore parity from the penalty spot.
Clark got plenty of practice at saving them in Arbroath on Sunday but he wasn’t going to deny Karamoko, whose spot-kick was struck low and hard and inside the keeper’s right hand post.
Thalhammer wasn’t in a mood to settle for a draw and made three changes with 20 minutes to go.
One of the subs, Marvin Potzmann, was picked out at the back post on 78 minutes and Callum Booth did well to get close enough to him to smother a smashed volley.
For Saints – now that the frustration at conceding such a cheap equaliser and failing to add to their lead had passed – it was a case of what we have, we hold.
It wasn’t until the 87th minute that Davidson looked to his bench. Stevie May replaced Kane.
The Saints goal lived a charmed life at the end of the game when a Keito Nakamura 90th minute header came back off the inside of the post and McCart was the first to react to clear.
The post saves St. Johnstone! 💥
Nakamura's header hits the woodwork and is cleared quickly by Jamie McCart 👏 pic.twitter.com/MKz7LAc4UR
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) August 19, 2021
And in stoppage time, with LASK camping themselves in and around the visitors’ box, a Boller 20-yard free-kick was tipped over by Clark.
Fortune had swung Saints’ way but nobody could argue that they didn’t deserve it.