Agrigento, the ancient city of Akragas, is one of the most interesting and famous destinations in Sicily.
A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1997, Agrigento conserves its Valley of the Temples, certainly the most impressive group of monuments of all of Magna Greece, located in a almost enchanted valley, full of almond trees in bloom.
The vast Archaeological Park, a symbol of the glories of the city lived in the ancient period, extends for about 1300 hectares of temples, homes, and sacred places. It brings together the temples of gods goddesses as well as the area of the necropolis and sanctuaries outside the walls.
The unique charm of this site is in this blend of cultural environment and natural landscape.
The buildings that are still present date back, in most part, to the fifth century BC, the period during which Agrigento reached its maximum splendor.
The most important temples were made in Doric style, built mostly with yellow tuff sandstone.
The Temple of Concordia, built around the 5th century, is is one of the best preserved Doric Temples in all the Greek world. It's located along the via Sacra and in the sixth century it was transformed into a sacred building. The name Concordia comes from a Latin inscription found near the temple itself.
The Temple of Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri), the legendary twin brothers, born from the union of Jupiter and the queen of Sparta, nowadays has only four columns left and has become the symbol of Agrigento.
The Temple of Juno (Hera Lakinia), placed spectacularly in the easternmost part of the hillside, it housed the cult of the goddess of fertility. The traces of fire, still visible in the walls of the cell, remind us of 406 B.C. when this magnificent temple, almost identical to that of Concordia, was destroyed by the Carthaginians.
Its name, like that of the nearby Temple of Concordia, is conventional as a result of a wrong interpretation of a Latin inscription that aligns it with the temple of Hera, in Crotone.
The Temple of Heracles (Hercules) is the oldest one. Inside it kept a bronze statue of Hercules himself, which the Akragantines loved very much. The temple, destroyed by war and natural disasters, today has only eight columns left.
The Temple of Aesculapius built far outside the ancient walls of the city, was a place of pilgrimage for the sick who asked to be healed.
The Tomb of Theron, near the Golden Gate, is an imposing pyramidal monument made of tuff stone. It was built in memory of the fallen of the Second Punic War.
The Temple of Vulcano dates back to the fifth century. In its foundations, the remains of an archaic temple were found.
The mythical 'Valley of temples' of Agrigento
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