Claudium Virunum was a Roman city in the province of Noricum, on today's Zollfeld in the Austrian State of Carinthia. Virunum was founded under Emperor Claudius as the capital of the province of Noricum. The new Roman foundation was situated on the main route from the Adriatic to the Danube, with a branch through south eastern Carinthia connecting Virunum with the Amber Road.
From AD 343 Virunum is known to have been a bishop's see. Little is known about the decline of the city. Being unfortified and situated in a flat valley, during the Migration Period the city was probably partly or totally evacuated by its inhabitants, who left for the surrounding hills such as Ulrichsberg or Grazerkogel.
The city proper covered an area of about 1 km². Extensive and systematic excavations took place from end of the 19th century until 1931. Further excavations were not undertaken until the end of the 20th century culminating in the excavation of the amphitheatre.
Apart from the city capitol, a Dolichenum for the military god Jupiter Dolichenus was excavated, inscriptions have been discovered proving the existence of two Mithraea, and in 1999 two votive relief plates were found from a Nemesis temple near the amphitheatre. Proof of an early Christian church, whose existence had been presumed for a long time, has recently been found in the northern section of the city.
A proper Roman theatre with a stage, the only one known in all Noricum, as well as elliptic amphitheatre were situated on the slope of Töltschach Hill. A large building further east is believed to have been the palace of the Praeses or provincial governor.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.