Calcata, in the Province of Viterbo, is located 50 km north of Rome over the valley of the Treja River. In the 1930s, the fortified centre was condemned by the government who feared that the volcanic cliffs would collapse. In the 1960s, the emptied historical centre began to be repopulated by artists and hippies who squatted in its medieval stones. According to legends, in 1527 a soldier in the German army sacking Rome looted the Sanctum Sanctorum. After being captured in the village, he hid the jewelled reliquary containing the Holy Prepuce in his cell, where it was discovered in 1557 and officially venerated by the Catholic Church since that time, offering a ten year indulgence to pilgrims. Calcata thus became a popular site for pilgrimage.
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