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The Caslte and the Cave

The fortified system of Saint John of Antro was part of defense line of Decima Regio, Venetia et Histria. The Leicht says to us there were three castles at Antro:

· one near the cave, with the whose ruins were built up houses of the village of Saint John (now Antro);

· the other one called Ahrensperg, prope Antrum, that is on the height over Biacis;

· another one named in documents of Abbot Whites, existing in 1274 and destroyed in 1295.

By these walls we can understand the construction was risen on three levels until reaching the height of the actual floor of the church. On the wall leaned to the rocky face the align holes are noticed: they supported the rooms' floor. The entrance to the castle had to happen through a retractable wooden stair that it connected the stone stair in the hall. This is deduced because steps meet the threshold of a door. A furnace still exists in the fort and give us indication to us that the place was stablily inhabited. To this strategic place only a function of military character or shelter for the inhabitants of near villages can be attributed during the invasions in this territory.

THE LEGEND OF THE QUEEN
Antro was the last shelter from the invasions. This is deduced also from the legend about the besieged queen in the cave, identified by various authors, of Slavic stock (Vida) or Lombard (Teodolinda) against Attila king of the Ungari. This queen, throwing from the cliff on enemies a sack of weath (the last one) said: "We have many weath sack how many are the grains of this." The attempt was making to believe to enemies the remarkable presence of a big quantity of supplies, such to prevent the conquest of the castle for hunger. The stratagem worked, the enemies took the besiege off.

1 Stairs of access to the Hypogeum complex
2 Ancient access to the castle
3 Entrance to the complex
4 S. John Evangelist 's chapel
5 Ancient chapel of Beata Vergine
6 Actual entrance to the church and the cave
7 Medieval furnace
8 Drainage of cave waters


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