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Maria Saal

Trip Planner Europe  /  Austria  /  Austrian Alps  /  Carinthia  /  Maria Saal
Maria Saal is a market town in the district of Klagenfurt-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia. It is located in the east of the historic Zollfeld plain (Gosposvetsko polje), the wide valley of the Glan river. The municipality includes the cadastral communes of Kading, Karnburg, Möderndorf, Possau and St. Michael am Zollfeld.HistoryThe Zollfeld valley has been a cultural and political centre since Celtic tribes settled in the region. When their kingdom of Noricum had become a province of the Roman Empire in 15 BC, Emperor Claudius had the city of Virunum erected as the province's capital at the foot of the nearby Magdalensberg, where on the hill top a splendid Celtic settlement had already existed. Virunum became a centre of Early Christianity in the early 4th century as the see of a bishop under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Aquileia.When pagan Slavic tribes entered the region around 590, they settled in a place called Krnski grad/Karnburg close to Virunum, which became the administrative centre of their Carantania principality. Here the ritual of installing the princes took place on the Prince's Stone, the base of an ancient Roman Ionic column originating from Virunum. The ceremony was continued in the local dialect of the Slovene language long into the Middle Ages. After Duke Odilo of Bavaria about 743 had vassalised the Carantanian prince Borut, the ritual was supplemented by a German-language ceremony at the Duke's Chair, a double throne made of stone, which can still be seen near Maria Saal.
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