Virunum, Carinthia, capital of the Roman province of Noricum, founded by the Romans around 50 A.D. as "municipium Claudium Virunum" at the centre of the Zollfeld Plain, extended over the western slope of Töltschach mountain and the first shore terrace on the eastern border of the River Glan (not located until the 19th century). Following the foundation of Virunum, the land enjoyed peace for 200 years, and after the division of the province under Diocletian (284-305), Virunum was made the capital of Noricum mediterraneum. Virinum started to decline in the 5th century, and it was finally destroyed by the Avars and Slavs in the late 6th century. In the 17th century, D. Prunner von Sonnenfeld started excavations on a site of around 1 km2 and discovered the "Prunner cross", which today stands as a landmark in the centre of Virunum. Professional excavations were carried out in the late 19th century. The following sites were unearthed: forum with capitol, residential district (1911), temple site, Austria´s only Roman stage theatre (1927), sculptures by the "Master of Virunum" (around 140 A.D.), some 400 stones with inscriptions. Remains of a church on Grazerkogel mountain and 2 pilaster capitals (parts of the Prunner cross) bear witness to Virunum´s position as an early Christian bishop´s residence. Most of the finds are exhibited in the Carinthian provincial museum. Excavations resumed in 1992.
Literature: C. Praschniker and H. Kenner, Der Bäderbezirk von Virunum, 1949; Führer durch das Landesmuseum für Kärnten, 1953; G. Piccottini, Die Römer in Kärnten, 1989; idem, Mithrastempel in Virunum, 1994.