Damanhur is a spiritual commonwealth in the Piedmont region of Italy. It was built
in 1977 by Oberto Airaudi and his small group of supporters. They settled in the Valchiusella Valley,
in the Alpine foothills of northern Itlay. The capital of Damanhur is Damjl.
Before it started in 1975 as the Horus Centre
in Turin; a place where Airaudi could share the results of his religious
research with the public, and also where he could commence a new phase of
experimentation. Initially, he offered courses and conferences on
meditation, philosophy, and healing.
“Today, as a
result of its constant ethical and social commitment, Damanhur is recognized
in Italy as an Association of Social Advancement.” It has evolved into an
internationally renowned center, with approximately 1,000
residents/participants forming a growing Federation of communities and
regions. In Damanhur, “smoking is forbidden out of respect for others, for
Nature and all living beings.”
One of their most amazing achievements is the ongoing construction of an
underground temple. It is a series of interconnected rooms/halls, on
different levels, each carved out of solid rock in the heart of a small
mountain. It is rich in artistically resplendent mosaics, windows,
paintings, and sculpture; it also houses the largest Tiffany-style stained
glass cupola in the world. The digging and tunneling began in 1978, so more
than 20 years of labor has been invested in the elaborate structure.
Currently, this is Damanhur's main site: http://www.damanhur.org
Since 1998 the
Federation of Damanhur has been a full member of GEN Europe. GEN (Global
Eco-villages Network) is an NGO comprising hundreds of communities, people
and research centers. GEN was founded in 1995. Its main aim is to support
and encourage the evolution of sustainable settlements across the world. The
UN has recognized GEN as a consulting member of its ECOSOC Commission.
Before 1999 1 Credito
= 100 Cali = 1000 Italian Lira. Damnahir coins are tough to get.
Through Erik V. McCrea's website I knew someone at Damanhur who might help me:
Otaria Palma (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Although according to their new constitution the 1999 version coins are only
legally valid, I still managed to purchase the 10 Credito and 50
Creditos 1986 dated coins (shown above on the left side) along with 25
Creditos 1995 coin (shown above right). Details are as follow:
Silver metal, Weigh 3.9 grams, Diameter 19 mm with plain edge.
Silver metal, Weigh 11.5 grams, Diameter 25 mm
with plain edge.
Silver metal, Weigh 5.8 grams, Diameter 20.5 mm
with plain edge.
This remarkable internal economic
system remains “in full compliance with Italian law” and its development
is being carefully monitored by the Italian national bank. The Creditos are
even taxed as if they were Euros.
“All Crediti carry a
phrase in Sacred Language, the ideogrammatic language that characterizes
Damanhurian art.” Damanhur's “complementary currency”, which is
considered by experts to be the most sustainable one of its kind, fuels
their community-owned businesses/services; most of these companies and
cooperatives are united under the umbrella of something called the Dh Crea
Consortium. The Damanhurian coins are universally accepted by this network
of producers and consumers. “On arrival in the Federation it is possible
to convert currency at the Welcome office or by means of specially located
change machines positioned around the territories. Unused Crediti can easily
be re-converted to Euro when necessary”. They have proven that “it is
possible to revitalize an area that has become depressed as a result of
de-industrialization. Since the Olivetti Company factory closed its doors in
Valchiusella some twenty-five years ago, the population has declined from
50,000 inhabitants to 5,000.”