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Routes > Arte e Storia > Archaelogical sites > Il Santuario di Pietrabbondante
Il Santuario di Pietrabbondante


Shrine or theatre-temple is the common name indicating the largest monument of the Samnite world, in which the theatre was dedicated both to shows and sacred cults celebrations.
Situated on Saraceno Mount slope, at 966 m of altitude, the cultural structure includes theatre and temple set on the same axis, even though on different floors, and two service buildings, all within a rectangular area of 55x90 m.
The work is all made of live, dressed stone, with an Italic podium at the basis of a Greek colonnade and an anatomic-seat-theatre with its backs leaning lightly back, each one obtained from an only stone block. Two imposing stone arches link the cavea with the scenic building of 37.30 m in length. On the proscenium front, five doors with Ionic semi-columns remind the Greek theatre of Epidaurus.
The construction dates back to the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 1st century B.C., combining Hellenistic or Campania elements with architectonical models inspired by Latin typology.
Brought back to light at the end of 1950’s, after the first excavations of the half of nineteenth century, it is defined as “the sole exemplar of templar architecture in the Samnium that highlights personality and imagination of an architect elaborating an Italic model, as well as his sagacity in drawing temple and theatre close. Its intent was a formal elaboration based on planimetric axiality and scenographic overlapping of temple and cavea” (A. La Regina, Abruzzo Molise, Laterza, 1984).
Since the first excavations by Bourbons, the shrine has been returning a large quantity of arms took away from the enemy, some from Taranto, some of the period of battles against Rome.
Furthermore, the excavations confirmed that the temple stands partially where there was an Ionic temple, destroyed by Hannibal in 217, which replaced, in its turn, a temple of the 4th century B.C.
The imposing cultural structure of the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 1st century B.C. did not rise in an isolated area. In fact, on its sides, temple remains, workshops of the 2nd century B.C. and a building similar to an ancient guestroom were brought to light. A little higher, the necropolis of the 5th century B.C. returned warriors equipments, jealously kept in the National Museum of Naples. On the top of the mountain, the fortification of the 4th century B.C. still watches over the High Trigno valley to protect in the past the Pentrians and today their testimonies of civilization, some of which are come out, but many others are still hidden.

FONTE: Molise da Stato a Regione a cura di Natalino Paone e Gianfranco De Benedittis - Pubblicazione della Presidenza della Regione Molise

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