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ELST Guelders, Netherlands.

Village between Arnhem and Nijmegen, in the Betuwe, homeland of the Batavi. After WW II when the parish church was being restored two temples were discovered beneath it, both of Romano-Celtic type. Temple was a rectangle (11.6 x 8.7 m), probably entirely built of stone and originally covered by a saddle roof. The inner walls were decorated with painted plaster imitating marble. This temple was built ca. A.D. 50 and may well have been the national sanctuary of the Batavi. It was probably destroyed by fire in the Batavian revolt of 69-70, but shortly after the peace of 70 was rebuilt on a much larger scale.

Temple II consisted of a cella (15.9 x 12.85 m) surrounded by a colonnade and covered by a lean-to roof. The cella stood on a podium 30.9 by 23.1 m, and 1.2 m high. The steps up to the podium extended along the full width of the temple front, which faced S. The inner walls of the cella were again decorated with paint. The columns were fluted, had Corinthian capitals and were ca. 7 m high. This temple was the second largest of its kind, and was used until the Germanic invasions. In the 7th c. a Christian chapel was built on the ruins by St. Werenfried. The remains of both temples and of the chapel are now visible beneath the church. Some of the finds are on view there, the rest in the Ryksmuseum Kam at Nijmegen. Remains of three other stone buildings have been found, probably dating from the period of Temple II; the connection of temple and buildings is not clear.


J. E. Bogaers, De Gallo-Romeinse Tempels te Elst in de Over-Betuwe (1955)MPI summaries in German and English; id., “Een Romeins gebouw aan de Dorpstraat te Elst (OB.),” Numaga 17 (1970) 102-7MPI.


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