Valley of the Temples Agrigento, Italy

The Valley of the Temples is an archaeological area of Sicily characterized by a series of important Doric temples of the Classical Greek age It corresponds to the ancient Akragas, monumental original nucleus of the city of Agrigento Since 1997 the entire area was included in the World Heritage List drawn up by the UNESCO

The Valley includes remains of seven temples, all in Doric style The ascription of the names, apart from that of the Olympeion, are a mere tradition established in Renaissance times The temples are:

Temple of Concordia, whose name comes from a Latin inscription found nearby, and which was built in the 5th century BC Turned into a church in the 6th century AD, it is now one of the best preserved in the Valley

Temple of Juno, also built in the 5th century BC It was burnt in 406 BC by the Carthaginians

Temple of Heracles, who was one of the most venerated deities in the ancient Akragas It is the most ancient in the Valley: destroyed by an earthquake, it consists today of only eight columns

Temple of Olympian Zeus, built in 480 BC to celebrate the city-state’s victory over Carthage It is characterized by the use of large scale atlases

Temple of Castor and Pollux Despite its remains including only four columns, it is now the symbol of modern Agrigento

Temple of Vulcan, also dating from the 5th century BC It is thought to have been one of the most imposing constructions in the valley; it is now however one of the most eroded

Temple of Asclepius, located far from the ancient town’s walls; it was the goal of pilgrims seeking cures for illness

The Valley is also home to the so-called Tomb of Theron, a large tuff monument of pyramidal shape; scholars suppose it was built to commemorate the Romans killed in the Second Punic War

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