La grotta del Mitreo (Duino)

General view of the Mithaeum at Duino

General view of the Mithaeum at Duino Photo: Franco

Description

The Grotta del Mitreo is on the sloped of Mount Ermada, above the area where the river Timavo comes out after disappearing underground in San Canziano in nearby Slovenia and following an as yet unknown underground route of about 38 kilometres. This small sanctuary is dedicated to Mitra, who is a God of Indo-iranian origin who was accepted by the Roman legions and who was a cult object from the end of the first century until the advent of Christianity. The site was destroyed in the 5th century, but there are still some votive areas and side benches (where the initiates sat during the ceremonies) which can be seen. Temples weren't usually built in this area, it was more common to worship these divinities in natural caves or by water courses, as is the case here.

San Giovanni al Timavo
Duino Aurisina - Trieste, Italy 34013
+39 04043631

http://www.igougo.com/attractions-reviews-b33868-Trieste-Grotta_del_Mitreo.html

Comments

1 | Ale Fernandez - 9 December 2010 | http://duinotourism.it
This is actually in San Giovanni al Timavo, a little way along from Duino itself.

If you are in the area you can take a guided tour of the temple and it's surrounding area. This tour is described in detail on this page:

http://www.duinotourism.it/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1212:il-mitreo&Itemid=7&lang=en

There is also much more info here: http://www.gssg.it/index.php?module=subjects&func=printpage&pageid=28&scope=all (in italian)

According to wikipedia, mithraists always preferred natural caves to building things or expanding existing things so probably this area, known as the Carso, or Karst, is perfect for the original construction and long term preservation of this kind of temple in caves. They must have jumped for joy when they heard there was a mysterious river that popped out of the ground. I can't think of a better place for a mithra temple :)