The Temple of Valadier: a Mysterious Church in the Rocks

The Temple of Valadier: a Mysterious Church in the Rocks

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A Neoclassical Masterpiece

The Temple of Valadier, named after the Italian architect Giuseppe Valadier, is a masterpiece of Neoclassical architecture. Built in 1828 on the commission of Pope Leo XII, the temple stands majestically on top of a hill, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Its impressive facade, adorned with Corinthian columns and an elegant triangular pediment, is a work of art that captures the attention of every visitor.

Ascending to the Temple

To reach it, simply follow the signs leading to the Frasassi Caves by car. Once you arrive, you can park your vehicle and continue on foot. The journey, which takes about an hour and a half round trip, is not very challenging. Near the entrance of the Frasassi Caves, you will find the beginning of a trail, approximately 1 kilometer uphill, that leads to the Temple of Valadier.

The path has a gentle incline, making it suitable for children and beginners. During the walk, you’ll be captivated by the charming landscape. The silence of the monumental mountains is occasionally interrupted by the flowing waters of the Sentino River. Upon reaching the destination, a brick portal marks the entrance to the sacred area. Once you pass through it, the majestic temple positioned within a cavity of the rock wall immediately comes into view.

Inside the building, there is a central altar with a reproduction of Canova’s statue of the Madonna and Child (the original is exhibited at the Museum of Sacred Art in Genga).

Opening Hours and Costs

The Temple of Valadier can be visited free of charge throughout the year, and no reservations are required. There are generally no time limits, as the temple is always accessible. However, during FAI (Italian Environment Fund) Days, visits are limited to Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM and from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

The Surroundings

Next to the Temple of Valadier, you will find the Hermitage of Santa Maria Infra Saxa, dating back to 1029, where Benedictine nuns used to live. It can be visited free of charge every day. In the vicinity of the temple, you’ll also discover the Frasassi Caves, an underground complex whose formation began approximately 190 million years ago through the action of water and rocks.

To visit the Frasassi Caves, there is a tourist route lasting about an hour and a speleological route that takes 2 hours. The full ticket, available for purchase online or on-site, costs 18 euros. For individuals over 65 and university students, the ticket price is 15 euros, while for children and teenagers between 6 and 14 years old, it is 12 euros. Children under 6 years old enter for free.

During the winter season (November 1 to February 28), the caves are open from Monday to Friday with entry times at 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 3:30 PM. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, you can enter at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:30 PM, 4:00 PM, and 5:00 PM.

It’s worth the visit

The Temple of Valadier is a must-visit attraction for foreign tourists who wish to independently organize their trip to Italy. This hidden treasure will amaze you with its architectural beauty and allow you to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Marche region. Plan your visit to the Temple of Valadier, explore its enchanting surroundings, and be enchanted by the authenticity of this part of Italy. We are certain that this experience will be unforgettable. Have a wonderful journey!

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