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Earth of fire

Actualité volcanique, Articles de fond sur étude de volcan, tectonique, récits et photos de voyage

The remains of the iconic Torre del Filosofo have disappeared, completely this time, buried under the debris of the last peak of Etna, the 14th of 2013 .

Torre del Filosofo - Marco Neri Etna - The lava flows of the 14 ° peak on Torre del Filosofo - Photo Marco Neri / Etna Facebook

Legend has it that the Greek philosopher Empedocles ( εμπεδοκλῆς - ca 490 - 430 BC) was established there a small observatory near the top of Mount Etna. He threw himself into the central crater existing at the time at the top of the volcano ... his motives are unclear : asking this act, he wanted to commit a suicide, or become an immortal god by throwing himself into the volcano, or prove to people that he could survive at the fire of Etna and come back safely ? Legend says that the volcano swallowed Empedocles and spat one of his bronze sandals .
It is assumed that the philosopher did not throw themselves into the crater , but continued to live after this volcanic episode , participating in the political and cultural life of Syracuse.

In Roman times , a stone and lava building was erected on Mount Etna, a gazebo for the Emperor Hadrian (Route description, history and art of Italy and Sicily - By Joseph Augustin Du Pays) which inspired the idea of the tower.

torrefilosofo - J.P. Hackert - 1780

           The summit of Mount Etna and the remains of the Torre del Filosofo - JP Hackert 1780

The area coincides with the rim of a small caldera, formed in the year 122 BC., during the most violent explosive eruptions of the past 10,000 years .

In the late '60s, a new building , known as the " Torre del Filosofo " , was built there , to serve as a mountain refuge. Never inaugurated , it was almost completely destroyed and buried by the eruption of 2002-2003.

Torre del Fikosofo 2000.04.06 Th.Boeckel

 The Torre del Filosofo refuge escape to the eruption - 06.04.2000 -  photo Th. Boeckel



 " The morning at Torre del Filisofo " - 03.11.2002 - Photo Thorsten Boeckel - clicking on the photo takes you on his site "From Etna to Stromboli ."

z-Sicile 08 735 copie
Etna - 2003 crater still smoking , and the crater southeast and Sudestino in 2008 - Photo Bernard Duyck

Torre.del.Filosofo-PR Etna
                     The remains of Torre del Filososfo refuge  in 2008 - Photo P.N.Etna

A wooden chalet set by the group of guides Etna Sud to the terminal of  Funivia dell'Etna 4x4 bus burned during the climax.

Torre.del.Filosofo- Etna Sud guides
        Etna - Torre del Filosofo - the chalet of Gruppo Guide Etna Sud - Photo Gruppo Guide Etna Sud .
 summitcraters map - INGV 03.2013
Etna - 2013 schematic map of the summit craters - TDF : Torre del Filosofo - doc . Serv . Mapping INGV


Sources :

- From Etna to Stromboli - Thorsten Boeckel - link

- Etna - aniversaire de l'éruption de 2002 - sur ce blog



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