Saturday, 30 January 2016

Roman and Mediaeval Terracina

Today was an ideal day for visiting the old town of Terracina- beautiful blue skies! Terracina is a small town perched at the top of a hill overlooking the modern town below, just next to the sea. This photo was taken in the main square. The road the people are walking on is part of the Appian Way, an old Roman road, which goes right through the small town.

This photo shows the duomo, San Cesario, also in the main square. It was built in the 12th century - like all the medieval buildings in the town and includes ancient Roman building parts (the steps up to the church, the columns- look out for the 4 monkeys on the last one on the left - and a mosaic on the right hand side of the church) as the church was built on a temple of Rome and Augustus dating back to classical times. The bell tower dates back to the 13th century. The tower on the left hand side of the picture is now a museum Museo Civico Archeologico Pio Caponi, which has many ancient Roman statues and information. Well worth a visit.
As you wander around the town, you come across many archaeological remains amongst the mediaeval buildings. As I was wandering around the town with friends, I was informed by an elderly resident that these ruins were discovered during the Second World War. The town was heavily bombed by the Germans during the Allied landings in Southern Italy and these ruins were found amoungst the rubble! An amazing story. Here is a photo below, again of the main square showing the ancient Appian Way (Via Appia) going straight through it.

One of my favourite churches in this area is this church with the skeleton at the top. The church is dedicated to those going to Purgatory! Those condemned to death would pray here and hope that their time in purgatory would be shortened. A bit macabre, but interesting and unusual nonetheless.


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