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Earthquake in Italy Destroys Ancient Buildings

Leaving thousands without homes and killing more than 90 people, an earthquake attacked Italy and with it, not only destroyed lives, but took with it ancient buildings and gateways to the past throughout the country. In this article, we will explore some of the damage, as well as the construction that has been affected during this natural disaster.

A tremor possessing a 6.3 reading hit the local capital of L’Aquila and other places about Rome, where culture and artifacts run high. It was the medieval city of L’Aquila that unfortunately served as the epicenter of the quake, where thousands of building toppled and suffered some sort of damage.

The significance of L’Aquila is well known, as it was constructed as mountain stronghold during the Middle Ages. Throughout the years, it flourished with many notable buildings displaying Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance examples of architecture. But the earthquake has threatened the existence of such buildings, as sections of ancient churches and castles located in and around the city have collapsed. Outside of the city, isolated villages have also seen their centuries-old churches suffer damage. Other cities, such as Rome, have lost the construction of some of their ancient monuments.

Amongst the effected structures were the Baths of Caracalla, which date back to the 3rd century. Covering about 27 acres, the ruins were located at the foot of Rome’s Aventine Hill. Here, opera productions and open-air concerts entertained resident throughout the summer.

When Emperor Caracalla ruled in his time, the ruins were once a bathing facility that could serve more than 1,600 people. At one point, the site was home to gymnasiums, libraries and gardens. Luckily, the Baths are currently listed as the only historic site in L’Aquila to suffer damage.

Other important sites and structures affected by the earthquake in Rome include:

·    Respectively, a bell tower and the cupola dating back to the 16th century crumbled at the San Bernardino church and the Baroque Sant’Agostino church.

·    The third floor of the National Museum of Abruzzo, a castle that dates back to the 16th century, suffered damage but it is unknown at this time if the art collection has been affected.

·    The back part of the apse of the Santa Maria di Collemaggio (a Romanesque basilica) that enjoyed a wave of 20th century restoration has collapsed.

·    Cupolas in at least two churches located about the historic center of Rome have been cracked open.