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The Basovizza Amphitheatre

A few hundred metres beyond the pool on the old Basovizza-Sežana road a cart track leads off to the left past a pine wood (the Impero Municipal Woods) on one side and a vast open doline on the other, recently cleared of shrubbery. Privately owned but it contains a unique and fascinating construction at its base.

This is a dry stone amphitheatre enclosed by a wall 27 metres long and up to 2 metres high. Inside there is a red earth embankment with a 4 metre corridor below it leading to a chamber approximately 2 metres in diameter.

Who would have built a structure of this kind? Why, and when? The Karstic stone walls around the adjacent properties are particularly high and thick, and made of stones of unusual size.

Analysis of objects found in excavations carried out in the Sixties have yielded ambiguous results, but the work revealed foundations at a depth of only 20-40 cm below the construction, a sign that they date back to a similar historical period.

A dolmen burial, a Celtic temple of the Carni people, a medieval cult site of the Bogomili sect, or merely a simple assembly area?

Strange as it may be, the story handed down in the family of the site owners may well be confirmed. It holds that the construction was carried out by shepherds and stable hands, and by irregular soldiers hired for storing hay, and that it dates back to before the First World War.

To this version a legend has been added of the enormous strength of a lone man, and the existence of a treasure store of gold.

The mystery endures today, in a site that continues to excite the imagination.

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