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Written by RamblingRose on 09 Jan, 2002
It is estimated the structure was originally about 165 feet high and even at it’s current hieght of about 115 feet it can be seen from miles away, it also might explain why Augustus didn’t keep it to display in his rec room. It…Read More
It is estimated the structure was originally about 165 feet high and even at it’s current hieght of about 115 feet it can be seen from miles away, it also might explain why Augustus didn’t keep it to display in his rec room. It was built in 6 BC on the highest point on the Roman road into Provence at a strategic point that also marked the gateway between Provence and Roman Italy.
The structure fell into disrepair then ruin when the Roman Empire declined and various other invaders moved through the countryside and monks did their best to destroy the pagan statuary. During the Middle Ages the structure served as a fortress for various forces. Then in the 1700’s it was blasted on orders from the French king. Fortunately a good deal of the structure survived the explosion. Finally in the late 1800’s a move was made to restore the ruins. Not much was done but the efforts have slowed the decay.
It was just amazing to think about all those different cultures and to wonder just how many people have seen this same structure as I was viewing. And if the stones could talk the stories they could tell about everyday life and heroic moments.
Ok, I’ll try not to get too lost in the romanticism.
You can pay to enter the ruin and there is also a museum on Roman history that includes a model of how the trophy might have originally appeared. But if you are on a tight budget, and can do without the bragging rights to having been inside a Roman Ruin, skip the museum and just enjoy the surrounding area.
From the edge of the parking lot is a panoramic view of the Mediterranean coastline that includes three countries – Italy, Monaco, and France. And not to be missed is the chance to wander through the village of La Turbie. This medieval provincial village -yes, we did leave Monaco and are now in France – did anyone see a border sign?- includes a church built from the Trophy’s rubble, an interesting cemetery (please respect the villagers and don’t use the cemetery for picture taking), small shops, restaurants, and is full of narrow cobblestone alleyways and colorful houses.