Aguntum was a Roman site in East Tirol. The city appears to have been built to exploit the local sources of iron, copper, zinc and gold. During the early Christian era the city was the site of a bishopric.

The oldest Roman remains are a two-roomed wooden structure discovered beneath the bath house and dated to the mid-first century BC. Aguntum was a mining and trading centre which exploited local sources of iron, copper, zinc and gold. Craftsmen in the town processed the metals to produce a range of goods which were then transported along the Roman roads. Other exports included wood, milk products (cheese) and mountain crystals from the Tauern range.

The discovery of a layer of ash, as well as the remains of a man and a child in the bath house, points to the sack of Aguntum by the invading barbarians under Radagaisus and Alaric. The city's decline was marked when the bishopric was transferred to nearby Lavant, a few miles to the south. A second sack by Attila and his Huns is attested by a coin dated to AD 452 found in a higher layer of ash. When the Western Roman Empire collapsed, Aguntum passed under the control of the Ostrogoths and was fought over by Franks, Byzantines and Bavarians. Paul the Deacon write of a major battle fought in 610 between Garibald II of Bavaria and the Avars, in which Garibald was completely defeated. Aguntum was destroyed and even Lavant suffered a major fire. There were no further bishops ordained in the area and the surviving Roman population took refuge in hilltop fortresses while the barbarians settled in the fertile valley.

A small museum contains objects discovered during the excavations. These include painted tombstones, pottery masks, bronze objects, coins and interpretive displays.

A large modern building covers the remains of the Atrium House, an elegant villa with a fountain and marble table in the atrium. The villa covered an area of 3,000 square yards and is the largest residential building so far discovered in Aguntum. To the right (east) on leaving the Atrium House are the city gates, which still stand 3-4.5 m high.

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Address

Stribach 95, Lienz, Austria
See all sites in Lienz

Details

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

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Swee Siong Low (2 years ago)
Not open during winter time.
RICHARD KITCHIN (2 years ago)
Great partially excavated Roman city. On site museum and viewing tower.
Luca Pizzolato (2 years ago)
Fantastica. Una città romana in pieno Tirolo. La visita inizia al museo di Aguntum. Il padiglione che lo ospita e di recente costruzione e molto ben organizzato. Vi è anche una sala dove viene proiettato un filmato di 15 min. che spiega la storia della città (con sottotitoli in base alla nazionalità dell'ospite). La parte più affascinante è la visita ai resti della città. Un percorso vi permette di poter visitare l'intera città dalle mura cittadine alle terme, dalla casa con atrio (protetta da una struttura e completamente visitabile) al foro. Nel mezzo degli scavi vi è una torre che vi permette di osservare la parte di città recuperata nella sua interezza. Da visitare assolutamente.
Sander Cleymans (3 years ago)
Large Roman site, very interesting back story brought in a very modern style. Could do with an English tour book, as only about half the tour has English information.
Michael S (4 years ago)
Unfortunately the museum and access to the site were both closed when we arrived. However the view of the town is still spectacular and well labeled with the maps available. Very impressive to see from slightly above.
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