mountain (1020 m high) on the W side of the Zollfeld,
near Virunum, the provincial capital of Noricum. On
the top of the isolated mountain stands the ruin of the
Late Gothic Church of St. Ulrich which gave the mountain its name. In the Middle Ages it was called Mons Carantanus. Many spoils have been built into the walls of this church, and above the main entrance one finds a
fragment of an inscription which refers to a procurator's
votive offering for Isis Noreia. This and other observations led to excavations in 1934-38, and 1948, during which buildings from two Roman periods were identified, the 1st and 6th c. A.D. In the center of each of the
two building complexes is a cult building.
One of these is a structure 43 m long in a slight hollow N of the modern St. Ulrich's. Its strange plan suggests a cult building with a double function: a) for the above-mentioned Isis Noreia, comparable to the goddess
Isis; b) for the otherwise unknown god Casuontanus,
whose name is found on an inscription in the large basin.
The carefully waterproofed basin would indicate that
water must have played an important part in this cult
as in other native Celtic temples. This sanctuary was
somewhat isolated from the rest of the buildings to leave
sufficient room for the attendance of the faithful at the
outdoor ceremonies. The finds indicate that the cult
originated in pre-Roman times. Adjoining buildings include a large, well-equipped dwelling (for the priests)
and three houses, one with a bath, to shelter pilgrims.
This place of pilgrimage seems to have functioned until
late in the 5th c. A.D. It came to an end when nearby a
cult building of the new Christian religion was erected.
This Early Christian church (26.5 x 16.3 m) became
in turn the center of a small building complex. It had
one nave (16.3 x 9.8 m) and on the N side two rooms
(prothesis and diaconicon) and in the W an entrance
hall (narthex) with a masonry bench. The outside of
the apse was decorated with shallow pilasters. The
semicircular clergy bench has been moved from the apse
closer to the audience; in front of it was the altar. The
advanced architecture (pilasters, narthex, etc.) justify
dating it to the late 5th c. A.D.
Around the church was grouped a small settlement
consisting of a few miserable primitive stone houses.
The mountain top was, however, not protected by a wall
or developed as a refuge, as elsewhere. Since the end
of ancient times a few families had lived here in this
remote place, which was protected by woods. Thus a
new type of settlement, the first Almdorf (mountain
village) in the E Alps was developed here. It perished
with the invasion of the Slavs and Awari at the end of
the 6th c. A.D.
R. Egger, “Der Ulrichsberg. Ein heiliger
Berg Kärntens,” Carinthia
140 (1950) 29ffMPI
; id. in EAA
7 (1966) 1051ff; R. Noll, Frühes Christentum in
(1954) 106f; H. Vetters, “Virunum,” RE
IX A 1 (1961) 282ff, 297.