Zollfeld Plain, Carinthia, part of the Klagenfurt Basin, extended valley plain (10 km) of the River Glan between Klagenfurt and St. Veit, interspersed with small woods, hills and some swamps; old cultural landscape, political, religious and cultural centre of Carinthia for many centuries. The "Holy Mountains", parts of which were once sites of pagan cults, today the destination of the Vierberge-Wallfahrt (Four-mountain pilgrimage), surround the Zollfeld Plain: Ulrichsberg Mountain in the south, Magdalensberg Mountain (Helenenberg) in the east, Gößeberg Mountain (also called Veitsberg) and Lorenziberg Mountain in the north. Maria Saalis situated on the southern edge of Zollfeld Plain. Documented mention of the name "Zollfeld" around the year 1000.
The Zollfeld Plain was already densely settled in early history. First known settlements belonged to the Hallstatt period, a prehistoric fortified castle with a rampart was located on Maria Saal Mountain. Later the Celts followed; on Magdalensberg mountain there was a Celtic/early Roman settlement with an area of about 2.5 km2. North of Maria Saal the Romans built Claudium, the capital of the province of Noricum, Virunum. Traces of 2 early Christian one-aisled churches have been excavated on nearby Gratzerkogel hill (503 m). After the migration of the Germanic peoples, the population reverted to pagan cults. Bishop Modestus christianised the region again for Salzburg and founded a church at Maria Saal around 750. A Carolingian residence at Karnburg (documented mention 888) was established around 830. After it had finally been separated from Bavaria, Carinthia became an independent duchy in 976. 2 important monuments from that time, referring to the appointment of the Carinthian dukes, have been preserved on the Zollfeld Plain: the Herzogstuhl and the Fürstenstein (today exhibited in the Carinthian Provincial Museum in Klagenfurt).
Literature: S. Hartwagner, Das Zollfeld, 1957; W. Neumann, Der Kärntner Herzogstuhl im Wandel der Geschichte, 1985.