Valley of the Temples

Porta di Ponte  in the Agrigento Old Town© Antonino Riggio / Wikmedia Commons [public domain]

Ancient city centre of Agrigento

Agrigento is situated on the southern coast of Sicily and well-known for its ancient city centre. The city's origins date back to 582 BC. Akragas later renamed “Agrigentum” by the Romans was founded by the Rhode colonists, founders of the city of Gela.
The most important tourist attraction in the historic centre is the Cathedral of San Gerlando. It dates back to the eleventh century and is situated on the hill of Girgenti.
Another characteristic sight is the Cistercian monastery S. Spirito dating from the thirteenth century. The most important Baroque church of Agrigento is S. Lorenzo, dating from the seventeenth century. Other sights which are worth a visit are the Port Atenea, the City Gate and the Diocesan Museum.
The Valley of the Temples, Sicily© Leandro´s World Tour / Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

Valley of the Temples

The Valle dei Templi is one of the most significant Greek archaeological sites in Sicily, not to mention the world, and is the location of the remains of the ancient town of Akragas, which was one of the most important ancient Greek towns. The valley is home to a number of temples that are all located to the south of the southern city wall. A special highlight is the “Sanctuary of the Chtonic Gods” that was built even before Greek settlement.

Access to the Valley of the temples is along the Via Passegiata Archaeologica, which splits the valley in two. The Temple of the Olympian Zeus – the largest temple of its kind ever constructed, now reduced to rubble – is located in the western end of the Valley, the Temples of Hercules and Hera in the east. The site became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997, and many of the archaeological finds are on display in the museum’s exhibitions.  

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