Discovering the Valley of the Temples
Discovering the Valley of the Temples – Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Agrigento became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean world. Its supremacy and pride are demonstrated by the remains of the magnificent Doric temples that dominate the ancient town, much of which still lies intact under today’s fields and orchards.
Selected excavated areas throw light on the later Hellenistic and Roman town and the burial practices of its early Christian inhabitants.
The rediscovery of Akragas began towards the end of the eighteenth century, when the first European travellers reached Sicily, discovering an unexpected and immense artistic, archaeological heritage.
The Valley of the Temples is certainly the most important testimony of the ancient, classical culture of Sicily. It brings together the temples of gods goddesses as well as the area of the necropolis and sanctuaries outside the walls.
Agrigento has a special place among classical sites in the history of the ancient world because of the way in which its original site, typical of Greek colonial settlements, has been preserved, as well as the substantial remains of a group of buildings from an early period that were not overlain by later structures or converted to suit later tastes and cults.
Best known is The temple of Concordia. Built around the 5th century, it is located along the via Sacra and is among the best-preserved temples. 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 Heracles (Hercules) is the oldest site. Inside is a bronze statue of Hercules himself. The temple was destroyed by war and natural disasters, and today has only eight columns left.
Join our Sicily Bella tour and day 5 will see you enjoying a guided tour of Agrigento’s amazing UNESCO World Heritage Listed ‘Valley of the Temples’.
Sicily, history, UNESCO