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VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES, AGRIGENTO, ANCIENT HELLENIC EVIDENCE

Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence

The Valley of the Temples, next to Agrigento, is the largest archaeological site in the world of Greater Greece

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Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence

Itinerary: Agrigento, Valley of the Temples
The Valley of the Temples, next to Agrigento, is the largest archaeological site in the world of Greater Greece
The Valley of the Temples (originally "Valle dei Templi") is located in the province of Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the most interesting attractions in Sicily that you should not miss.

AGRIGENTO (pic n°1)

First, it is convenient to reach the town of Agrigento. "Akragas", the ancient Greek city was established in 580 B.C. in Agrigento's area by Greek colonist people settled in the nearby town of Gela and originally coming from Rhodes and Crete. During the centuries the city underwent lots of events along its history: first, in the fifth century B.C., it was a flourishing town. In 406 B.C. the Carthaginians razed and burned the city and its temples and even though the city was rebuilt it has never regained its heydays. Then it was the backstage of the battles between Romans and Carthaginians and after it was conquered by the Romans, they have renamed it as "Agrigentum". Later, it was also under the Arabs rule and later again under the rule of the Normans.

The current historic center of Agrigento dates back to the Medieval age. The most important churches in the city are:
- the eleventh-century Cathedral of San Gerlando, with a beautiful staircase at the entrance;
- Basilica St. Mary of the Greeks (Santa Maria dei Greci), originally a temple dating back to 500-450 B.C., which had been converted into a church. The original columns of the temple have been embedded and they are still visible in the interior walls.
The city is also home to more than 50 old and new churches, monasteries and cloisters.

Also, there are some beautiful buildings:
- the Baroque-style Seminario Arcivescovile (Archbishopric Seminary);
- the seventeenth-century Palazzo Vescovile (the former residence of the bishops);
- Biblioteca Lucchesiana, built in 1760;
- Palazzo della Provincia, an elegant 19th-century building;

Another attraction of the city is the Monumental Cemetery of Bonamarone, with tombs and gravestones that look like works of art.

VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES (pic n°2)

The Valley of the Temples can be reached very easily from Agrigento, taking route SP4. It is the largest archeological site in the world and the one of most important evidence of the ancient Hellenic culture and civilization. The site represents the first settlement of the city of Agrigento (Akragas) and it has been included since 1997 in the World Heritage site list by UNESCO.

Today, this important archeological park includes some impressive remains of doric temples, underground aqueducts, necropolis and much more.

There are 7 ancient temples or their ruins you can visit:

- Temple of Concord (pic n°3), built in 440-430 B.C., is the most beautiful and best-preserved temple, in fact, all its columns and the entire structure still stand, only the roof is missing.
- Temple of Olympian Zeus, located in the Olympeion field (pic n°6). In ancient times, it was the largest and the most important temple, today only the foundations and the altar are still visible
- Temple of Hercules (pic n°5), which is likely to be the most ancient temple in the valley (built around 500 B.C.). For today, there are only 8 columns survived of the temple also because of fire and earthquake.
- Temple of Juno (or Hera Lacinia) (pic n°4), built around 460 B.C., is located on the highest point of the hill and still preserves its original, but partially restored columns
- Temple of Dioscuri (Tempio di Castore e Polluce), dating back to 450-400 B.C. Today, only four columns have remained.
- Temple of Vulcan: it is probably the worst preserved temple in the valley
- Temple of Asclepius

Also, do not miss the Shrines dedicated to different gods and goddess, the Archeological Museum of great interest, the amazing "agorà", center of the ancient Greek and Roman social life and the beautiful Kolimbethra Garden located between Temple of Dioscuri and Temple of Vulcan. You will find many unique plants growing here.

Finally, dedicate some time to the visit of the necropolis, including many tombs of Greek, Roman, and Paleochristian origin, among which the most impressive one is the tuff-carved Tomb of Theron.

Some pics of Agrigento and Valley of the Temples:

View of Agrigento and Valley of the Temples (pic n°1); Valley of the Temples (pic n°2); Temple of Concord (pic n°3); Temple of Juno (pic n°4); Temple of Hercules (pic n°5); Olympeion field, one of the atlas (pic n°6);

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Tour in Italy: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence - pic 1
Tour in Italy: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence - pic 2
Tour in Italy: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence - pic 3
Tour in Italy: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence - Pic 4
Tour in Italy: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence - Pic 5
Tour in Italy: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence - Pic 6

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Id: 158

Tour: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, ancient Hellenic evidence

Category: Art city tours -

Type: Art Cities

Region: Sicily , Italy

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