The Valley of the Temples
A glorious settlement of architectural gems, dedicated to the Gods of the ancient Greek mythology.
Find yourself among a plateau overlooking the sea, with the two nearby rivers, the Hypsas and the Akragas. The Archaeological area of Agrigento, first founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean region. Its pride, beauty and supremacy are proved by the remains of the divine Doric temples that dominate the ancient town, much of which still lies intact.
Tradition says, that the Greek town of Akragas, has been founded by colonists from the islands of Rhodes and Crete coming from the founder colony in Sicily, Gela, around 580 BC. However, excavations have revealed that there was an even earlier classic Greek settlement in the 7th century BC.
570 – 555 BC, tyrant Phalaris reigned, and in the years 488 – 473 BC tyrant Thero takes over. Democracy gets established in the later 5th century BC and everyone lives in tranquility and prosperity. Not for long!
In 406 BC. the Carthaginians rise and get crushed by the brave Timoleon in 340 BC. who wanted to bring in new colonists. The city became a prize in the hands of Romans and Carthagenians and from the 7th century AD, (Anno Domini — the year of our Lord”), Agrigento shrank in size, got depopulated and abandoned. What was left, got occupied by the Arabs in 829 and by the Normans in 1086.
Most of the built-up ancient city is covered by the Valley of the Temples.
The most impressive remains are those of the temples built during the times of Thero and after to Herakles, Olympian Zeus, Hera Lacinia, Vulcan and Concord. The temple of Olympian Zeurs, one of the largest and the most impressive of all Greek temples, can only be traced by the foundations. The temple of Concord, remains the most impressive Doric temple in the Greek world after the Parthenon in Athens. It owns its survival to its adoption and use as a church in the 6th century AD. Along the way the temple of the Chthonic divinities, Demeter, Persephone and the Dioscuri.
If you are lucky enough you will see the sun setting and the temples gloriously illuminated! Allow time…