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

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Robert van den Breemen (8 months ago)
Beautiful museum. Thanks for the great audio tour.
Eva Hebbing (9 months ago)
If was a huge museum not very expensive alltogether a fun day where you can learn loads
KOS “Stefano” (9 months ago)
A great place to visit and live. Better with sun. I hope they find more about this place and excavate more.
Alicja Belyakova (9 months ago)
Very beautiful displays; the outdoor excavation had a very fun way of explaining what kind of building were there before. The worker was very nice and enthusiastic. This was overall one of the best museums I've been too; I highly recommend it!
Lisa Goswell (10 months ago)
If you love all things Roman it’s well worth visiting Aguntum. The indoor part, the museum is not huge but very good with plenty of information about the exhibits (most written in English as well as Italian and German of course!). Outside you really get a great feel for this Roman city particularly because there are viewing platforms that allow you to get an aerial view of the excavated areas. Definitely a little gem and the setting in the Valley with the stunning mountain backdrop is pretty unique! We felt as though the archaeologists had been heavily involved in the presentation of this museum as so much thought has been put into how to bring things to life and how to display things. Maybe the archaeologists or maybe a great curator? Who knows but really well done.
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