Located in the architectural heart of Western civilization, it is easy to see that these structures come from the ancient world. Built by the Damanhur Federation, Temple proved impressive by receiving the unofficial title of eighth wonder of the world.
The Temple of Humanity spans 9,000 cubic meters and boasts five levels. The floors are connected to each other by zigzag corridors. Incredibly, Damanhur Federation founder Falco Tarassaco has much bigger plans for this masterpiece. He once claimed, this work was only 10% complete before his death. In terms of architectural significance, Tarassaco describes them as part of a “deep journey within man”.
Inside the Temple of Humanity. Photo: Grunge.
A secret operation
Construction of Damanhur Temple began in 1978 and continued non-stop for more than 15 years. Although the Damanhur Federation had only 24 initiates in 1975, by the time the organization launched the temple construction, there were about 150 adherents involved in constructing the passageways and secret rooms inside the temples. .
Remarkably, this operation was carried out so secretly that the Italian government never knew about it. Esperide Ananas, a spokesman for the Temple of Man, explains how the Federation keeps their secret: “When the construction sounds get too loud, we play the recordings. If someone overhears it, we’ll play it.” , they’ll think we’re just having a party.”
Of course, even the best kept secrets will come to light, and that was proven in the case of the Damanhur Temple. As rumors spread about a mysterious group and its activities, officials finally learned of what was going on. Or so they think.
In 1992, a prosecutor and police arrived in Damanhur to seek answers. They also asked to see the underground depths of the temple. After visiting the vast constructions deep underground, they were terrified. But the beauty and splendor of the tunnels and temples is indisputable.
A mysterious cult
Located 30 to 80 meters underground, the Temple of Humanity symbolizes love and is a testament to sustainability. All the corridors and rooms are excavated and built by hand, requiring dedication and work ethic most of us can only imagine.
Many consider the Temple of Damanhur to be the best kept secret of the Italian Alps, a place that holds a deep connection between nature and the human subconscious.
Today, 800 people identify themselves as members of the Damanhur League and 600 citizens currently reside here. The term “Damanhur” means “city of light”. There, members live in a community, residing in what is believed to be a real-life utopia on Earth. They claim the temples they have created represent a “true gift to humanity”.
The leader behind the Federation and the underground temples is Falco Tarassaco (born Oberto Airaudi), a philosopher, painter, and writer born in 1950 in Balangero, Turin province, Italy.
Tarassaco started planning the Damanhur Temple at a young age, when most children spent their time on things like algebra and school or sports. Besides designing elaborate rooms, he is also famous for saying like a sage: “If anyone asks about me, describe me as a philosopher, not as a Master. Keep me, if you will, in your heart”.
Tarassaco encouraged his followers to see them as the creators of a new civilization, based on human potential and peace. Over the decades, the group has also created a unique culture of its own.
From a sign in the sky
According to Falco Tarassaco, he and 10 other Damanhuri broke ground on the site one night in August 1978. Tarassaco was then 28 years old, living in a house on Vidracco hill with some of his disciples.
The group was sitting around a campfire at home when they received the so-called sign from heaven. They observed a very bright and slow star passing through the night sky. Tarassaco believes it is an unusual sight as the star has left a visible trail of gold dust. While most people would enjoy the astronomical moment without thinking much, the Damanhuri keep that in mind.
Believing it to be a supernatural event directed at itself, the Damanhuri community feels compelled to act. They began to drill into the ground, inspired to create a work of art containing all that is sacred to humanity. For the next 15 years, team members worked in 4-hour shifts, until the project was completed.
Underground rituals inside Damanhur
15 years of painstaking construction has created Damanhur spaces with multiple uses. Of course, not all of these uses were known to people outside the Damanhur Federation. This community even has a coded private language that only they can understand. And they participate in symbolic dances with meanings known only to the members.
Gazza Solidago, a member of the Damanhurian community, shared insight into his experience inside the Temples of Mankind as a devotee: “It’s always a unique spiritual experience crossing the ranges. different corridors and spaces. I think they’re like a dream – a dream that’s constantly evolving.”
The Damanhur Federation believes that humanity is in the process of evolving based on a “Program of Species” that its members call a ‘vajne’. Or, as the group put it, “When a species reaches a level of complexity sufficiently large in its evolution – to the point where it is fully aware of its divine origin – it can become a capable intermediary.” consciousness between the spiritual and the material plane”.
The Damanhuri believe that evolution is geared towards the reconnection of plants, animals, minerals, humans, and extraterrestrial intelligence. They argue that the temple artworks and written texts both express these concepts. The interesting thing is that only group members can read and understand the text. They believe the concept represents a path towards the spiritual unity that humans once possessed. In other words, they claim vajne as a path towards spirituality, which the Damanhuri call “Reality”.
Perhaps even more impressive are the Damanhuri’s claims of knowledge spanning millennia. This community believes they have preserved the history of humanity stretching back to before the planet was settled, which implies that humans are of extraterrestrial origin. They also argue that humanity has always found meaning and understanding of the world through myths.
The special location of the temple
When the golden dusty star fell over northern Italy, the Federation of Damanhur believed the sign indicated the exact location of the earthquake, believing that the temples converged at what is known as the “Synchronous Line”.
The people of Damanhuri describe these “Synchronous Lines” as rivers of energy connecting all life on the planet, acting as a communication network capable of amplifying emotions and uniting all living things.
Because of the sacredness of the geographical location, the Damanhuri community also considers the temples to serve as a receptacle for Neoplatonic ideals such as Love, Beauty, and Truth. And they claim that the themed rooms have the ability to lead visitors towards a deep and personal spiritual awakening, and connect people directly with nature and the supernatural.
The temples in Damanhur have many “sacred spaces”. The Hall of Mirrors includes a stained glass Tiffany dome that diffuses warm light throughout the lobby. This light is reflected by the surrounding mirrors. According to the Damanhurians, the mirrors multiply the vibrant shape of the dome throughout the room. This amplification represents an analogy of the human mind as the mind is open and receptive to new ideas and perspectives.
There is also the Victory Hall, which is the deepest part of the temples. The ceiling of the room shows an image of the night sky containing the constellations seen 22,000 years ago at that exact location. Why 22,000 years ago? According to the Damanhurians, this was when the mythical island of Atlantis was still thriving.
Eight steps away from the Victory Hall, is the Earth Hall, which celebrates the forces of nature and the entry and exit of mankind. This room has white ceramic facades embellished with artistic reliefs.
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