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Civita di Bagnoregio: A Time Map

A timeline of key events in the history of the 2500 year old Italian hill town of Civita di Bagnoregio
by

Sharon Mentyka

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Civita di Bagnoregio: A Time Map

Civita di Bagnoregio A Time Map Roman era Archeological evidence of street grid, forum, fragments, tombs, and cisterns. 280-400 BC Etruscans Dovecotes, tunnels, and crypts.
City planned according to concept of sacred space. 600-280 BC Early Middle Ages Walls as fortification against invading armies. Christianity established. Present church built on site of Roman temple. 300-500 AD Renaissance Series of damaging earthquakes. Bishop's Seat moved to Bagnoregio. 1500-1900 AD Late Middle Ages St. Bonaventure born. Franciscan monastery founded. Building boom. Civita is established as independent city-state. 1100-1500 AD Early 20th c Bus line connects Bagnoregio to Viterbo and Orvieto. Government orders 1922 evacuation of Civita but residents refuse to leave. 1900-1930 World War II Civita occupied by German army; bridge bombed. Liberated by Allies after the Battle of Bagnoregio. 1940-1945 Plesitocene Volcanic activity forms tufo which will become Civita's primary building material. 2 million years ago Post-War Period Bridge demolished leaving Civita isolated for close to a year. Committee established to address deteriorating population and conditions. 1950-1965 Mid-20th c Architects lead the effort to begin restoration of Civita buildings. Tourism and property sales to part-time owners increase. 1965-1980 Late 2oth c Cliff stabilization project funded by Province of Viterbo and the EU completes first phase. Civita's unique history, geology and design recognized. 1990-2004 tufo: easily mined and hardens when exposed to air In 1400, the bell in the tower of the Chiesa San Donato was cast in Civita rather than being brought up the hill. Most buildings existing today were built during this period. Eight towers once rose above the city. Architecture and design students study in Astra Zarina's Italian Hilltowns program in Civita for 30 years. The Etruscan ideal city was a circle divided into four sections, at the center of which was the mundus, the connector to the spiritual world. Civita streets are remnants of a somewhat regular Roman grid plan, arranged around a central public space, or forum. Between 1695 and 1780, more than 40% of Civita's land mass was lost to earthquakes and landslides, including the San Francisco Monastery which was located halfway between Civita and Bagnoregio. In 1926 a stone bridge is built to connect Civita to Bagnoregio. By 1960, many buildings in Civita were in worse condition than they were a decade prior and the full-time population had dropped to 25. Monitoring of landslides and deep wells with anchor rods are part of the stablization effort on the north side of Civita cliff. 21st C Civita is added to World Monument Fund's list of "100 Most Endangered Places." Civita looks to move past the moniker "la città che muore" (the dying city) through restoration, stablization, and tourism. 2005-2012 Etruscan-Roman cemetery niches are numerous in the Civita valley The ancient Etruscan dromos under Civita is used as shelter during bombing raids.
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