Campochiaro, the sanctuary
Orario di apertura:
The sanctuary, in the locality of Civitella, in the municipality of Campochiaro, is a cult complex dedicated to Hercules. This was the sanctuary of the territory of Boiano, the Samnite capital. Located at the foot of the Matese, it stood in a strategic position in relation to the routes crossing the plain of Boiano (the Pescasseroli-Candela drove-road, a minor road which descended towards the Adriatic coast to Larino, and that which, crossing the Matese massif, reached Campania and Monte Cila, an important Samnite settlement). The area was occupied from the 7th/6th B.C. onwards, although it may not at that time have been used as a place of worship. The first monumental development of the sacred area took place in the 4th century B.C., the layout following the site’s natural changes in level and emphasising them in the relationship with the various architectural structures, according to common Hellenistic criteria. The area was enclosed by polygonal walls in which two gates opened, one to the west and one to the east, and developed over two main terraces, at different levels, on which the buildings stood.
At the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. the complex was destroyed by an earthquake. Following this event damaged buildings were restored and, as far as possible, reused and new wooden porticoes were added. A monumental rebuilding programme, however, did not take place until the second half of the 2nd century B.C. at which point a temple, with Ionic columns, was constructed in the centre of the upper terrace. Although the sanctuary became less important after the Samnite territory fell under the control of the Roman administration, it did, however, it continued to function throughout the first centuries of the empire.