VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES
The most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture
The term “valley” is a misnomer, the site being located on a ridge outside the town of Agrigento.
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.
How to get Valley of the Temples from Villa ai Mulini