The Sanctuary's structure

The temple of Hercules Victor is a monumental construction placed 328,08 yards out of the town walls and elevated partly over the ancient Tiburtina road. It was built between the second half of the II century B.C. up to the Augustan age and for its architectural grandiosity could be compared to the other grand contemporary temples at that time; such as the Primitive Fortune Temple in Palestrina or the one in honour of Jupiter in Terracina. All were distinguished for the custom of growing a terrace cultivation in order to create a particular scenography around the temples.

Ingrandisce foto View of the Sanctuary

The sanctuary originally occupied a very vast area of 3.587,97 sq. yd. The wide complex had a rectangular plan (205,60 yards X 153,11) with three main structures: a theatre (which was on the natural gradient of the ground) a big square marked off by arcades and last the temple.

All rests on a strong construction which was particularly impressive for its greatness and also for the efficiency in maintenance and was found on the north west side where the hill falls toward the Aniene valley, creating a marked gradient. The structure had been constructed in alternating layers where each one was articulated by buttresses alternated with arcades, some of which opened into windows. These overwhelming arcades were particularly suggestive to the eye. Under the portico of the temple, situated on the highest part of the complex, the back walls were in a double series in order to put in drainage and also nine arcades were raised so as to overcome the gradient of the steep ground. These nine arcades were laid on 25 unseen arcades and had some windows in the middle so as to allow some illumination on the inside.

Ingrandisce foto The Sanctuary's structure
(F.C. Giuliani)

Today there are still 23 remaining.
The platform was surrounded by porticos on three sides, giving a U-shape and allowing the side facing Rome without anything. Under this there was a semicircular staircase constructed for a theatrical cavea. In the middle of the platform was, in the end, erected for the shrine. One was able to enter the wide square by two big staircases built on the sides of the theatre.
The square was surrounded by a Doric portico on three sides, which on the inside ran through a corridor covered by a barrel shape vault.

On top of the first must have ran the second portico with inter columns (the space between the columns) which was wider than the one below and colonnade inside, perhaps Ionic, of which there are still traces today on the north east side. The square that welcomed the coming believers to worship and question the god, constituted the centre of the whole sanctuary. The temple was raised at the end square, while on the south east border, taking advantage of the unlevelled ground, the theatre (already mentioned above) was built and still today there are some remains. The temple of Hercules was situated behind the portico. It was a huge peripteros, which was surrounded by a colonnade on all sides except the one in the back.


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Con il patrocinio del Comune di Tivoli, Assessorato al Turismo

Patrocinio Comune di Tivoli

Assessorato al Turismo