Sanctuary of Minerva
|Sanctuary of Minerva|
|Location||Loc. Spinera, Breno, Italy|
|Type||Roman temple, Historic site|
The Sanctuary of Minerva is a temple of the Roman era, situated at Breno, in locality Spinera.It rises to a rocky outcrop on the banks of the river Oglio, faced with a natural cave within which flowed a spring.
The site was already a place of worship since the Iron Age and had a shrine (which were found a few yards of stone and a brandopferplatz) that is a paved area that housed the burning rituals. Following the Romanization of the camunian territory, on the former sanctuary was built, in the early first century, a Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva.
The Roman final structure, built next to the indigenous, consisted of a row of rooms assigned to the rock and the sides by two wings that porticoed heading for the river delimiting the courtyard of the temple. The main hall housed in an elevated niche, the statue of Minerva, Roman copy of a Greek statue of the fifth century BC
In the fourth century started the process of Christianization of Valle Camonica that imposed the end of the cult of Minerva. Into the 5° century the sanctuary was destroyed by a violent fire, and the statue of Minerva was beheaded with force.
Later, during the thirteenth century, a flood of Oglio rover covered area of debris and the site was finally abandoned.
Forgotten by the time the existence of the temple (although the memory still survives in the names of a nearly Church dedicated to Mary but called by paesans "of Mineva"), was rediscovered by chance in 1986 during an excavation for the laying of pipes.
Starting in 2004 was the subject of a restoration which, together with the laying of coverage and implementation of information pathways, have turned into a museum that was open to the public on 29 September 2007. In particular, for illustrative purposes, there was placed a copy of the statue of Minerva Hygeia, whose original is exhibited at the National Museum of Valcamonica of Cividate Camuno.
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