Archaeological Area

SITO ARCHEOLOGICO ERCOLE CURINO

Località Badia, Sulmona, (L'Aquila)
The temple dedicated to Curian Hercules rises on a sacred area frequented uninterruptedly by pagans (the earliest evidences are rock-paintings discovered in a few caves at the foot of Monte Morrone) and by Christians, who occupied the area above, where there is the Celestinian hermitage of Sant'Onofrio. Situated on the main cattle-track that connects L'Aquila to Foggia, since its foundation in the II-I century B.C the temple had given hospitality to shepherds and sheep looking for Hercules's protection. The structure develops on two levels: a lower terrace and an upper one. The latter includes the remains of an arcade, a little temple, whose mosaic floors are decorated with sea-scenes, and a stone fountain carved in the rock. The lower terrace consisted of fourteenth barrel-vaulted rooms, most likely intended for commercial activity. The temple was deserted in the II century A.D., when a landslide made it inaccessible; an excavation carried out in the Fifties of the XX century brought to light the sanctuary, which, since the Middle Ages had been mistaken for Ovid's suburban villa.

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