FORUM – SANCTUARY (end of II century BC)

The temple led to the forum – the sanctuary of the city, now partly visible under the square (Piazza del Comune). At 5,7 metres below, there was a porticoed terrace measuring 35×70 m next to a wall. It originally had a balustrade on its top. Some stairs connected the architectural features: two were to the edge and other two running inside the thick wall. On the well preserved platform, there is a tribunal: three big steps made of big limestone parallelepipeds where seven magistrates in charge the city hall were seated (on curule chairs): the quinqueviri and two of the quattuorviri. In front, a tetrastyle with the statues of Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri), divinities connected with the worship of waters. Within the perimeter, under the arcades, there were two cisterns and some workshops. It was the place where civil and sacred shows and events took place with organized rituals: buying and selling, verdicts, transactions, debates, comitia (political speeches); they sacrificed with proud pietas. It was a real urban complex, quite homogeneous, although built in different stages and visible from afar from the plain and the surrounding hills. Today, together with the crypt of S. Nicolò (which is the entrance), it hosts an archeological museum, with remains from excavations in the Assisi area: statues, fragments of frescoes and many commemorative stones and inscriptions describing human and social characters who lived in the city for centuries.