Close to Torino in Northern Italy lies the quiet Valchiusella valley, which hides a secret below ground. This mysterious place is unknown to most visitors and for a time, was even unknown to the Italian government. This valley is home to a stunning temple complex known as the Temples of Damanhur. It features a vast underground temples which commenced works forty years ago by a man who goes by the name of Falco, following his lifelong vision. Over the years, the temples and the movement known as Damanhur have grown considerably.
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Temples of Damanhur: Origins
The temples of Damanhur commenced thanks to the visions of a young boy named Oberto Airaudi who described magnificent temples and a utopian society as part of a past life. His conviction was so strong that Oberto never forgot and set out to recreate his vision in adulthood. Oberto gathered a group of people who shared his vision of humanity and began the process of digging under a house he bought.
This site was chosen because of its unique and powerful cosmic energy points located in the Valchiusella valley. Just as most members within the community of Damanhur nowadays, Oberto also uses and animal name - he calls himself Falco or Falcon. What makes this community different is that unlike many other spiritual movements that depend on the charisma of its leader, Damanhur does not have a true leader and Falco does not involve himself in decision-making. Rather, he is considered to be a visionary or spiritual adviser by the community.
Temples of Damanhur: The Federation of Damanhur
The socially, politically, spiritually, economically and ecologically active followers of Damanhur are known as The Federation. Today, the community has worldwide offices and have over one thousand individuals who live in what they term as an Eco-Society. The Federation lives in small, but active groups known as Nucleo Communities and is focused upon the principles of ecological sustainability, ethics, kindness, social responsibility and spiritual awareness. A major component of the Damanhur ethos is living green and followers are involved with eco-conscious activities like solar farms and creating a seed bank. The community strives for complete self-sufficiency.
Temples of Damanhur: The Underground Temples
Each temple acts as a focal point for specific meditation. The underground temples are comprised of nine underground temples and are otherworldly, filled with brightly painted murals, stained glass, sculpture, Egyptian motifs and strange symbols. The temples were so secret that the Italian Government did not realize they existed until they reached near completion. Once discovered, people were awestruck. Since there were no permits for such an undertaking, the government may have chosen to demolish the entire complex. But, instead, they were stunned.
The Blue Temple
Finally, there is the Hall of Mirrors which is an enormous underground space topped with a Tiffany glass cupola, which according to the Damanhur website is the largest in the world. This hall is dedicated to the sky, the air, and the light and has small recessed alters dedicated to the four elements.
As incredible as all this sounds, perhaps the most amazing of all is that the temple complex is estimated to be only about 10% complete. Future plans call for an enormous cathedral, a theater and a library of sacred texts. The existing temples, meanwhile, also undergo occasional change since these temples are active conduits to the human spirit which is constantly developing and learning.