Retracing the Romans

Permanent exhibit



Fashion, crafts and religion around 70 AD! Flavia Solva was one of the most cultured cities in the Roman province of Noricum, and is the most substantial Roman archaeological site in Styria. Exhibits from over 100 years of archaeological research give an idea of what ancient life was like, on the very spot where it was lived.

From 29th July 2012 accessible to all as a showcase that can be entered from outside.

Relaunch and opening: May 2017

In 2012, Flavia Solva was converted into a navigable showcase. The interior of the building has been rented out since then, and is operated as a café by Konditorei Koppitz. From 2012 to 2013 the conservation and restoration of the Roman-era foundation walls was undertaken, as was the freeing up to the ancient city on the site to make it visible.

By Mayl 2017 the Romans Museums Flavia Solva has been relaunched, with the location name, quality of visitors’ experience and marketing of location all to be redefined.

 

Goals of the project were to re-name the location, to improve the visualisation of the former extension of the ancient town of Flavia Solva, and to furnish the open-air site with additional information signs.

‘showcase of the Roman Period’

Moreover, new findings from Flavia Solva are to be presented to visitors in a newly designed ‘showcase of the Roman Period’, which was handed over to the Universalmuseum Joanneum in 2016 by Merkur Warenhandels AG in the form of a donation. 

These measures are completed by May 2017.   

About Flavia Solva

In Flavia Solva, the Roman age lies just a few centimetres beneath the surface. After the town was abandoned, the walls and roofs of its houses were reused. For this reason, excavations usually only uncover foundation walls. In order to protect these walls from the weather, the site was filled in. The position of the walls is still visible, marked by the metal outlines on the surface. 


Although we know little about how these rooms were used, we are sure that the underfloor heating system belonged to a living room.

In the first century A.D., about 2000 years ago, Italic traders laid out a regular grid of 20-metre wide roads over an existing small settlement. The free spaces between these roads, known as insulae, were densely built up after just a few decades. Almost 10,000 people lived and worked here.

 

The town of Flavia Solva once extended over 40 hectares— the protected archaeological zone covers about 5% of this area. After Flavia Solva was abandoned, it was more than 1000 years until a town this size emerged again in Styria: during the 17th century Graz was about as big as Flavia Solva.

There are many places in Flavia Solva with a clear view towards the west, to the shrines on the Frauenberg. Certainly the large temple on the plateau of the hill could easily be seen with the naked eye. Traces of temples or public buildings have not yet been found in Flavia Solva—with one exception: we know where the amphitheatre once stood.

Flavia Solva lay on a road that led northwards from the River Drava to the River Mur, continuing upstream into the Mürztal valley. The course of the road is shown by two milestones, which were found at the foot of the Kugelstein near Deutschfeistritz. Smaller roads led from Flavia Solva into the Laßnitztal valley, the Sausal mountains and eastwards into the Raabtal valley. They were probably used mainly to supply Flavia Solva with everyday goods.


All of this network is missing from the lists of roads made by the Romans. In the area of Styria there is only mention of the “Noric Road”, which connected Virunum in Carinthia with Ovilava in Upper Styria, running across Upper Styria. 

Flavia Solva was the only Roman town with a cemetery of tumuli. Despite its large size, the cemetery is relatively closed off and tightly packed.

A group of burial mounds consisting of three tumuli and flat graves was situated next to a road leading south. These tumuli were named “Kraberkögel” after their owner, Krobath. Archaeologists have only been able to investigate one of the three mounds.

In 1916, the state archaeologist at that time, Walter Schmid, excavated the mound with three burials and unearthed over 40 objects from dating from around 100 A.D. The walled beehive-shaped structure of the tumulus was displayed in the garden of the Joanneum in 1917, and was only returned to Wagna in 2004.

Impressions

Flavia Solva

Marburgerstraße 111
8435 Wagna, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9560
archaeologie@museum-joanneum.at

 

Opening Hours


Here you can discover the oldest town in Styria—24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and free of charge. Take a walk round the building and look through the showcase at the objects of Roman times or explore the archaeological site! Information is available at several points on the way.