SANCTUARY OF WINNING HERCULES
The victorious Sanctuary of Hercules was dedicated to the patron god of ancient Tibur, and covered a very large area at the foot of the city.
The construction of the complex, which lasted about ten years, gave many problems to the architects who built it, because they first had to dig a covered road under the sanctuary in order to pass the ancient Tiburtina Valeria, the so-called Via Tecta, then they were forced to raise arches to overcome the ravines on the Aniene river.
Originally the sanctuary occupied an area of 3,000 square meters and was divided into three areas: a temple, a theater and a huge square that served as a sacred area. The main purpose of the project was to spectacularly strike all those who came to Tivoli from Rome, so much was its splendor and its magnificence (188 x 141 m), in fact the structure used for the foundations rose for about 50 meters overhanging on the Aniene river.
In the past, inside the sanctuary there was the statue of Hercules, a god revered by the Salii, who organized a ceremony of honor during the Ides of August, as Virgil reminds us in the Aeneid.
The entire area of the sanctuary, until about fifty years ago, was occupied by the Tiburtine paper mills, industrial plants that transformed straw and wood into various qualities of paper thanks to the driving force produced by the waters of the nearby Aniene river.
Thanks to the meticulous work carried out in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendence of Lazio and Southern Etruria, the extraordinary opening of the sanctuary to the public was held on 1 May 2015, in conjunction with the inauguration of Expo 2015 and the 3230th anniversary of the birth of Tivoli, with the aim of making this site at the center of the cultural offer of the city.