The Toll Post of the Ancient Romans in Tel
The Ancient Romans under Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) set up a toll post in Tel, bordering the Roman provinces of Raetia (with its capital: Augusta Vindelicorium) and Venetia et Histria. This set a precedent for the collection of taxes for traded goods and horse-drawn carts.
The Latin inscription on the plinth of a statue shows that a certain Aetetus who commanded the Tel toll post in the 3rd Century AD built a temple dedicated to the goddess, Diana. Emperor Claudius also introduced a so-called Gallic tax on the export of goods destined for Germania, replacing the internal toll known as the Illyrian poll tax. Inns and toll posts where horses were exchanged were created along the length of the Via Claudia Augusta, an important Roman trading route. After the Romans departed the territory towards the end of the 5th Century, the toll post was no longer mentioned in the old records for a number of centuries. In fact, it wasn’t until 1160 when the presence of a local customs officer was again recorded in the registry.
An official tax office attached to the Counts of Tyrol (Meinhard II) was first mentioned in the records in 1271. In 1388, the toll post in Plars was transferred to Tel making it the most important customs station in Tyrol. Today, this building is the Roessl Inn, which, after restructuring a few years ago, is also known as the Zollwirt (or Customs inn, in German]. Toll guards had to keep an accurate register, which was sent to the Count’s Chamber on a quarterly basis and the customs officers handling the Tyrol Count’s tax revenues enjoyed the status of court officials. In 1808, the building housing the tax office was sold off by the Bavarian authorities and, after the introduction of a new consumption tax in 1829, the toll post was completely abandoned. From 1400 until its closure, the names of 27 customs officers were recorded as having worked there. The toll station (the Zollhof) included the Zollbaur Inn with the actual customs office situated on the left side of the building and a repository on the right. Just behind was the Steidlhof Guesthouse made famous for once hosting Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria and King of Hungary and Bohemia, (1503-1564). Ferdinand’s coronation as Emperor in 1525 is remembered in one of the Renaissance frescoes preserved in the customs office. Dating no later than 1530, this opus has been marvelously restored.
The former customs or toll post is no longer in existence.