"Capitole" Dougga Things to Do Tip by Willettsworld

Dougga Things to Do: 49 reviews and 131 photos

This is Dougga's landmark as it sits at the summit of the hill in which the town is built on and can be seen from virtually anywhere. Built in A.D. 166 or 167, it is one of the finest and best preserved Roman temples in North Africa and is dedicated to the triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. It's in remarkable condition with 10m-high walls and six mighty Corinthian columns - each 8m high - supporting the portico. The massive walls are the finest known example of a construction technique called opus africanum, which uses large stones to strengthen walls built of small stones and rubble. An inscription on the architrave gives the names of the donors of the temple and contains a dedication to the Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. The badly weathered carving on the pediment depicts a man being carried upward by an eagle, perhaps symbolizing the deification of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. In the rear wall of the cella, which is almost square (13m/43ft by 14m/46ft), are three niches for statues of gods - a semicircular one in the middle for Jupiter, flanked by square niches for Juno and Minerva. In the basement of the temple was an aisled crypt, which may have been used as a church. Here the excavators found the white marble head of the cult statue of Jupiter.

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  • Written Aug 29, 2008
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