Roman sacred place.

Archaeological Site of Colle Monteortone at Abano Terme

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The ruins of a sacred place were located not far from Colle Monteortone; the site was active in roman age and was probably bound to thermal waters. Read More
Archaeological Site of Colle Monteortone at Abano Terme

Archaeological Site of Colle Monteortone at Abano Terme: the ruins of a sacred place were located not far from Colle Monteortone; the site was active between the second half of the 1st century B.C. and the 1st century A.D., and was probably bound to thermal waters. In the 15th century, a monastery consecrated to Madonna della Salute rose on the same area. Already in 1862, Andrea Gloria reported the emerging of architectural remains, perhaps pertaining to a Roman thermal structure beside the old hydrotherapeutic establishment. Later on, between 1996 and 1998, the renovation work of the Stadio delle Terme (at Monteortone, in Abano Terme) brought to light a big building in the area of the stands, north-west of the playing ground. Some surveys carried out by means of georadar have shown that this building presumably spread out far beyond the town ownership where the stadium stands.

The building stretched for approximately 820 m² only in the part under investigation. Eastwards, it was delimited by a portico with pillars, within which there were three identical pools (approximately 2 x 2 m): their pool-level was made of blocks of brick and trachyte bound with mortar, while the poolside was made of bricks. The burial of a newborn child was discovered eastwards, 4 m far from the building, while a little quadrangular well with traces of fire emerged southwards. The building has been interpreted as a sacred place, probably connected to the presence of thermal water – with its healing properties; the burial and the well could therefore be interpreted as ritual deeds linked to the foundation of the sacred place.

The reminder of the sacred in this place has been reasserted in the course of time, up to this day: as a matter of fact, the big abbey dedicated to Madonna della Salute, place of pilgrimage all along, was built following a miracle which occurred in May 1428. In the second half of the 19th century, the monastery – by that time in a state of neglect, but still provided with a rich thermal source entitled “della Vergine di Monteortone” – was purchased by a wealthy family, who turned it into the prestigious “Grande Stabilimento Termale di Monteortone” (afterwards acquired by the Salesiani di Don Bosco).

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