Posted by Abbey School CiaoItaly - Torino.
Web site: www.ciaoitaly-turin.com
Turin, the first capital of Italy, encapsulates both mystery and magic. The home of important museums, wonderful works of art and culinary delights, the Savoy City has been one of the most important esoteric locations in Europe ever since the times of Paracelsus.
Situated on the 45th parallel, exactly halfway between the north pole and the equator, the Piedmontese capital has always maintained its reputation as a magical city. Indeed, it is said that Turin is positioned at a point joining two esoteric triangles: the white triangle, which it forms with Lyon and Prague, and the black triangle together with London and San Francisco. It stands on the confluence of two rivers, the Dora and the Po, that represent, like the sun and the moon, life and death, the feminine and masculine parts of the cosmos; parts of the same cycle, existing in function of their opposites.
The “black” heart of the city is represented by Piazza Statuto with its Fontana del Frejus, a black stone monument commemorating those who died during the construction of the tunnel of the same name (1857-1871). On the top of the monument, the statue of an angel appears to act as an allegory of the difficulties encountered in man’s conquest of True Knowledge, but it is also said that the figure represents the image of Lucifer, the lost angel, banished after his rebellion against God.
If one looks carefully, in the little garden in the middle of the square, there is a manhole cover which is considered by many to be the Gateway to Hell. Reality and legend seem to merge in the areas “hellish” reputation, an area which today is the centre of the city’s drainage system but which was once, ever since Roman times, a venue for executions. Indeed, nearby Corso Valdocco takes its name from the Latin Vallis occisorum (valley of the slain), which identified the area as the site of a great necropolis. Perhaps today, under the square, the bodies of those who were executed can still be found.
The city’s white side, however, is to be found in Piazza Castello, which represents a centre for positive and benevolent energy. The peak of positivity is found right between the statues of the two Dioscuri, the twins Castor and Pollux, who adorn the gates of the Royal Palace. However, one must go to Piazza Solferino to find the Gate of Infinity.
Indeed, at the centre of the square is the Fontana delle Quattro Stagioni (Fountain of the Four Seasons), otherwise known as Fontana Angelica.
The monument, built according to Masonic principles, is composed of four groups of statues representing each of the four seasons of the year. At either side of the monument sits a female figure, allegories to the Spring and Summer, while in the middle two male figures can be seen, Autumn and Winter, looking towards the East and West respectively while pouring water from two goatskin bottles.
The space between the two statues is well-defined and seems to outline an imaginary gateway: the Gate of Infinity which, set against the Fontana del Frejus, are said to open the way towards Eternity and Enlightenment. According to an esoteric interpretation, the two figures represent Jachin and Boaz, carrying the burden of the Pillars of Hercules, and according to Masonic symbolism, the two fundamental principles of man, the basic elements of wisdom: stability and strength. Knowledge is said to be symbolised by the waters that the two figures are pouring. Furthermore, one of the goatskin bottles takes the form of a ram that recalls the legendary Golden Fleece pursued by the Argonauts and that, in its alchemical sense, represents the moment when matter is transformed into absolute perfection.