VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES, AGRIGENTO, ANCIENT HELLENIC EVIDENCE
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);