The Valley of Temples

Stretching along a ridge to the south of the city are a string of five Greek temples, a sight worthy of comparison to the Acropolis itself in Athens. The temples are usually divided into two zones: the Eastern Zone and Western Zone each side of the main entrance and the road from the city centre. It can get punishingly hot in summer and there is little shade other than some olive trees along the ridge itself.

  • The first temple east of the entrance is the Tempio di Ercole or Temple of Hercules – long, thin and about 1/3 standing. It is the oldest of the temples, built towards the end of the 6th century BC. Next to it are some interesting deep ruts formed by ancient carriages.
  • Next heading east is the large Tempio della Concordia or Temple of Concord – a very impressive almost complete structure built around 440-450 BC.
  • The track the continues above small cliffs at the edge of the ridge to the Tempio di Giunone or Temple of Juno. Partially ruined, it offers a great spot to look back down the ridge to the other temples.
  • To the west of the main entrance is the massive Tempio di Giove or Temple of Jupiter which was never completed and is now in ruins with little structure visible. Most notable is one of the huge stone statues now lying on the ground.
  • Behind this is the small ruined Tempio di Dioscure.
  • Beyond the main temple site is the small, but interesting Tomba di Terone.

To put all these sights in context, it is well worth visiting the Archeological Museum (half way back into the city centre) and the adjacent Roman Quarter (with a few nice mosaics). Daily guided tours of the Valley of the Temples can be hired from Visit Agrigento though an audio tour is available at the entrance to the temples. (Some ID is required as security for these, which means walking back the entire length of the site just to give the guide back).

Archaeological Museum and classical period living quarters

The Museum is about half way from the station to the Valley of the Temples and contains numerous artifacts taken from the site. It is purposely built to accommodate a huge telamon, reconstructed from pieces.

The residential quarters are on the other side of the road.

Official website: www.valleyofthetemples.com

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