Pilgrims of the ancient world, including those at the height of political power like Julius Caesar, traveled to the Temple of Hercules Gaditanus in the city of Gadir - located somewhere in the south of Spain. They prayed to Hercules with the hope that he might lend them a bit of his legendary strength to endure challenges brought on by the cruelty of life in those days, or to achieve military victories.
The temple was built by the Phoenicians sometime around 800 B.C.E. According to ancient records, it was adorned with bronze carvings honoring the 12 labors of Hercules and housed a fire that was to be tended to by a priest so that it burned eternally.
The structure was already old when the Romans discovered it and it became a place where Greek and Roman mythology mingled. Those ancient faithful believed that the pillars at this site were erected by the mighty hands of Hercules himself.
Researchers and archaeologists have sought out the location of this temple for centuries, relying mostly upon Greek and Roman writings. Now, with the help of modern technology, researchers believe they have finally solved the elusive mystery of where this temple is located.
With the help of digital terrain modeling the location of Hercules Gaditanus is believed to be in the Bay of Cadiz in Spain.
At low tide, a submerged structure measuring 500 feet by 1,000 feet can be observed. Researchers knew that the shoreline had shifted over the past 3,000 years and this led to them looking in the places that used to be above the water in 900 B.C.E.
Some experts are doubtful that this is the discovery of the sanctuary built in honor of the son of Zeus. The real work in proving the claim lies ahead as archaeologists will have to navigate the tides as they study the structure with low visibility that is almost always under water.