The Hemmaberg with its striking cliffs is visible well into the Jaun Valley. Find out more about the archaeological excavations, the pilgrimages, the St. Rosalia grotto and the ecclesiastical significance here.
The Hemmaberg is an elongated mountain ridge in the Karawanken foothills (843 metres) which falls steeply towards the north (mountain viewing point with a view into the Jaun Valley and to the Saualpe). A short walk from the car park past old supporting walls and substructures takes you to a plateau just beneath the summit, where since 1978 one of the most impressive pilgrim shrines from late antiquity in Central Europe has been excavated, with a total of five churches and the associated hospice and living areas dating from the 5th to 6th centuries. It can be assumed that the mountain has been inhabited since the New Stone Age; at any rate the Celts established a permanent settlement here, which was called Juenna after the venerated deity Jovenat, and was relocated into the valley after Norikum was integrated into the Roman Empire.
The site of the excavations is freely accessible and a model of accessibility with its information boards. The walls have been reconstructed at a uniform height to allow visitors to see the floor plans which have been excavated, and are protected by a stretch of grass. Inside the walls, white marble gravel indicates the position of the mosaic floors, red limestone chippings show the colour of the original floor made of tile chippings, and grey-green quarry stone slabs show the location of graves where their original stone covers have been lost. The mosaics and small finds are on display in the Hemmaberg Juenna Archaeological Pilgrimage Museum in Globasnitz.
The pilgrimage church on the Hemmaberg dates from around 1500. A fresco and an oil painting tell of a miracle by Saint Hemma, when a young man escaped unhurt after his stepfather pushed him off the steep cliffs in 1601.
The grotto on the Hemmaberg has a hole in its rock ceiling like that of the rock tomb of St. Rosalia in Palermo. Therefore a priest arranged for a stone statue to be carved for the grotto here. After the inhabitants of the Jaun Valley had survived the plague in 1680, out of gratitude they erected a chapel to St. Rosalia, and as a result the feast day of St. Rosalia is still celebrated to this day. The water from the spring in the Rosalia grotto is said to have healing powers.