Nestled in the alpine foothills north of Piedmont, Italy, between Turin and Aosta, is a truly magical place on earth called Damanhur. In a 15-kilometer area surrounding the lush, green valley of Valchiusella lives a very active, multilingual community of 600 people.
Damanhur is a Federation of spiritual communities, with its own Constitution, culture, art, music, currency, schools and uses of science and technology. Its citizens are open to sharing their knowledge and research with other groups and cultures of the world, with anyone who is interested in exploring these themes. Damanhur holds events at numerous centers, and also hosts thousands of visitors each year who participate in tours, seminars, retreats and courses through Damanhur University.
When it was founded
Damanhur was founded in 1975 from the inspiration of Falco Tarassaco, né Oberto Airaudi (1950-2013). His enlightened and pragmatic vision created a fertile reality based on solidarity, sharing, love and respect for the environment. As a result, Damanhur has slowly expanded into a United Nations award-winning sustainable eco-community. Staying true to Falco’s original vision of a community based upon ethical and spiritual values, Damanhur has captivated attention around the world as a laboratory for experimenting with sustainable ways of living, in harmony with nature and its elements and forces.
Damanhur is perhaps best known for its extraordinary subterranean work of art and architecture, a cathedral known as the Temples of Humankind. It has been profiled on international television as the “Eighth Wonder of The World.” This complex was entirely dug by hand into the heart of the mountain.
Damanhur, the spiritual path … which we call the School of Meditation … leads every citizen through a lifelong process of self-exploration and search for the meaning of existence. This is facilitated through the study of ancient magical traditions and the celebration of the rhythms of nature. On this path, everyone learns to develop their talents and overcome their weak points (and helping others do the same).
Damanhur has created its own written Constitution, which contains the principles which are the basis for the social and spiritual experience. Damanhur also has a flag, which is yellow with a double square and an infinity sign, and the dandelion flower is a symbol of Damanhur.
A sustainable community in constant experimentation
In 2005, Damanhur received recognition from the United Nation’s Global Forum on Human Settlements as a model for a sustainable society. The award was no accident. It was the result of Damanhur’s deep respect for the environment as a conscious, sensitive entity and our citizens’ commitment to co-existing with the plant and animal worlds (as well as intelligences that inhabit this universe) in a reverent and nurturing way. One expression of this philosophy is Music of the Plants, in which communication with the plant world inspires concerts where the musicians are trees, and plants play music alongside human musicians.
The Damanhur Federation of Communities is a member of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Italian Ecovillage Network (RIVE) and Conacreis (National Coordination of Associations and Communities of Ethical Spiritual Research).
Ted’s broadcast on January 13, 2017 from Damanhur