The Sun Gate and the fortifications

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Porta del Sole (Sun Gate) was created in 1642 by Taddeo Barberini, replacing the previous Porta San Giacomo (St. James Gate). Porta del Sole was named after the family coat of arms visible on the architrave, as well as from its location on the eastern side of the wall. Today, like in the past, it represents one of the focal access points to the town of Palestrina.

Excavations in 2005 brought to light a section of the city walls in limestone polygonal work, belonging to a reconstruction of the defensive wall dating back to 3rd century B.C.
At the bottom of it, the tuff-jamb of the ancient door is also visible.

This defensive wall was used to build a ramp paved with large cobblestones that leaned against the great tuff wall (part of the so called monumental lower Propylaeum block) made in Opus Quadratum during the mid  2nd century B.C., thus proving a further remake of the city’s defensive walls on their southern side.

Despite the urban middle-Republican phase is poorly understood, we know that in the suburbs, just outside Porta del Sole, there was a sanctuary dedicated to Juno “Palotsca” (marsh) who had a cult associated with another Italic goddess: Turpenus Pater.

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