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Temple Clitumnus

Temple Clitumnus

Distance from postignano

39,4 Km

The Temple at the sources of Clitunno dates back to between the 5th and 7th century, when the earlier pagan sites, as described by Pliny, were replaced by Christian temples that often inherited location and previous cults adapting them to the new faith.

The temple was well known in the Renaissance and various artists, such as Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Benozzo Gozzoli, Palladio, Piranesi and Vanvitelli,  portrayed it. It also appears quoted in a poem by Lord Byron and an ode by Carducci. The shape is that of a classical temple and in the construction materials one can detect elements recycled from buildings of the Roman imperial period that are described by Pliny as present in the area. The four frontal columns, and their capitals in particular, clearly come from several distinct older buildings, as well as the inscriptions on some of the stones indicate their origin from funerary monuments of the 1st and 2nd century A.D. The monogram of the emperor Constantine and the symbol of the cross appear repeatedly, indicating the Christian origin of the building. Originally the access to the upper floor was via two side staircases complete with porch and pronaos, unfortunately, in the 18th century, the hermit brother Paolo sold the columns, which were used in the church of San Filippo in Spoleto. The interior is a cell with a barrel vault and a niche, with an apse decorated with frescoes from the 7th century. The basement consists of a T-shaped corridor that was originally plastered, in the middle of which, close to the rock face, there is a cavity with calcareous deposits that suggest the existence of a spring, which probably formed a fountain on the front of the building. 

In the vicinity, along the course of the Clitunno, one can see an ancient water mill, now a hotel.

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Temple Clitumnus
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