A cool night up in the mountains, so a good sleep had by all. Mac’s lump has virtually gone and so everyone is chirpy and jovial as we head for a leisurely walk in to Antas Park. But only after the cows have tootled on their way.
Nestled in the middle of the Iglesiente mountains the ruins of the Roman Temple of Antas offer a majestic sight amongst the barron land. Reminds us very much of Hadrian’s Library in Athens. After lying abandoned for centuries, the temple was discovered in 1838 and extensively restored in 1967. Most impressively, the original Ionic columns were excavated and re-erected.
The inscription reveals that the temple was restored under the emperor Caracalla and dedicated to the god Sardus Pater Babi, the forefather of the Sards, by a man called Proculus. This dates the restoration phase to around 215 AD, but the Roman version of the temple could have been built as early as 27 BC under Augustus.
A small gate leads you from the temple to the Roman quarries. Here the limestone boulders were extracted and used for the construction of the sanctuary. The work was carried out with hammer and chisel, while the transport was probably made by carts pulled by oxen.
The park area wis well maintained with lots of information boards and a small souvenir shop and cafe. Although the wild life point for hedgehog and squirrel maybe a little bit optimistic. Entrance fee €4 pp and free for dogs.
Just outside the park is a 200 year old oak cork tree and a small Nuragic village.
The people lived in stone dwellings and built the round conical towers, probably for religious or astronomical rituals. Their towers are a characteristic feature of the Sardinian landscape and there is never one too far away. They were mainly pastoral people and the traditional methods have been maintained in Sardinia for over 3000 years, right up to the present. Even today, you can still see peasant farmers travelling by donkey and herd of wild goat dashing across your path.
Later today, we will head over to Fluminimaggoire