Ferentino: The Town of Saturn and the Cyclopean Walls
Impressive structures guard the city of Saturn
What it is and where it is
Ferentino is a town rich in archaeological finds, elegant churches that are guardians of art and culture, noble and ancient streets to walk through ready to discover the traces of its long and mysterious past. However, the element that stands out most is another. It is the cyclopean walls of Ferentino, a massive and articulated structure that wraps the village in the stones of the territory and its history.
Why it is special
In the case of Ferentino, it would be more correct to speak of the remains of megalithic walls. Huge defensive bulwarks erected in polygonal work, and made of colossal stone blocks, set together without the aid of mortar or lime. The stone blocks composing them reach a volume of even more than 25 cubic meters. Laid dry and interlocking, they go to form a fortification about 2,500 meters long, interrupted by 12 gates. The large blocks, however, do not characterize the wall in its full height: over time, the wall was raised, from time to time according to the construction techniques of the time.
A bit of history
The origins of Ferentino are ancient and shrouded in myth: legend ascribes its foundation to the god Saturn who, driven from Olympus, settled in this territory, where he founded cities and spread arts and techniques. The walls would also date back to that time: according to an ancient tradition, already a legend in Roman times, such fortifications could have been erected only by equally giant creatures, the Cyclopes, brothers of the God Saturn and sons of Heaven, and for this reason they were called "cyclopean."
The very etymology of the name Ferentinum (present participle of the Latin verb fero: to produce) provides a precise idea regarding the fertility of the place and the ingenuity of the people who lived there.
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