The FEDERATION OF DAMANHUR, often called simply DAMANHUR, is a
commune, ecovillage , and spiritual community situated in the Piedmont
region of northern
It was founded in 1975 by Oberto Airaudi with around 24 followers, and by 2000 the number had grown to 800. The group holds a mix of New Age and neopagan beliefs. They gained fame in 1992 through the disclosure of their secret excavation of an extensive underground temple, the Temples of Humankind , which was begun in 1978 under complete secrecy. The Italian authorities ordered construction work to stop because it had been constructed without planning approval, although artwork could continue. Retroactive permission was subsequently granted.
Damanhur's supporters claim the growth and activity of the community has revitalized the local area.