Carnuntum was a Roman Legionary Fortress and also headquarters of the Pannonian fleet from 50 AD. After the 1st century it was capital of the Pannonia Superior province. It also became a large city of 50,000 inhabitants. In Roman times Carnuntum had a history as a major trading centre for amber, brought from the north to traders who sold it in Italy; the main arm of the Amber Road crossed the Danube at Carnuntum. Its impressive remains are situated on the Danube in Lower Austria in the Carnuntum Archaeological Park extending over an area of 10 km² near today's villages of Petronell-Carnuntum and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg.

The remains of the civilian city extend around the village Petronell-Carnuntum. There are several places to see in the city: Roman city quarter in the open-air museum, palace ruins, amphitheatre, and Heidentor.

Some way outside the city was a large amphitheatre, which had room for about 15,000 spectators. A plate with an inscription found at the site claims that this building was the 4th largest amphitheatre in the whole Roman Empire.

Between 354 AD and 361 AD, Heidentor, a huge triumphal monument was erected next to the camp and city. Contemporary reports suggest that Emperor Constantius II had it built to commemorate his victories. When the remains of Carnuntum disappeared after the Migration Period the monument remained as an isolated building in a natural landscape and led Medieval people to believe it was the tomb of a pagan giant. Hence, they called it Heidentor (pagan gate).

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Founded: 50 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Austria

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Igor Zotov (3 months ago)
This is a wonderful attraction for the entire family and one can easily spend a whole day here. Many original artifacts can be witnessed, quite a few things have been restored or recreated. The atmosphere is fantastic, suddenly you may have a feeling of being in a time machine when you are inside the Roman houses of Carnuntum. Some of the artifacts are located quite far from the main area, but they are reachable by a shuttle bus. There's a nice restaurant on the territory where you either can take a snack, drink beverages, or have a complete dinner with a wiener schnitzel, pasta, soup, and delicious deserts. Easily reachable from Vienna and Bratislava by train. Very affordable. Highly recommended.
Marius Zaharia (8 months ago)
Good way to spend half a day with kids. Unlike with other Roman ruins, they brought this one to life by partially reconstructing some of the houses, and furnishing them as they must have looked 2,000 years ago. The highlight of our visit was the main villa, where the floor heating and the baths were fully functioning. They also provide guided, interactive tours. The ticket actually includes 5 Roman attractions, which are all close by. You can also combine this visit with some cycling in the area or a visit to Schlosshof castle (just a few kilometers away), to make this a full-day trip.
Amanda Hirschl (9 months ago)
I've been there both in normal days and in events (Römerfest, Spätantike). On normal days you can have guided tours and explore the archeological site. On events there are people dressed in character and a program of different attractions, which I super recommend. When visiting the museum, use the opportunity and go to amphitheater ruins and the Heidentor too, which are other related attractions of the city. Note: bringing a snack is a good idea. There is a restaurant that is accessible in the museum but the food can take long (and they may close the kitchen).
Grace Panganiban (9 months ago)
Really enjoyed this tour quick and short but worth it it's like back in time since I love the stories of the Roman Empires.... Definitely recommended
Marian Szetyinszki (11 months ago)
We have been her for 3 times in last 20 year, each time some new buildings finished/ rebuilt. Our most favorite museum. You can touch, feel and enjoy the old Rome Empire atmosphere than nowhere else in the world
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