The attribution of this temple was made possible thanks to a passage in Cicero’s famous ‘Verrines’, which mentions this temple dedicated to Herakles not far from the Forum of Agrigento’s known temples and dates back to the final decades of the 6th century BC. It has an elongated base, is Doric and peripteral with 6 x 15 columns in addition to a base of three steps. Originally only one column was still standing and one assumes that due to earth quakes the temple was destroyed. Eight columns were rebuilt between 1924 and 1931.
During the Roman age it was probably dedicated to the Delphic triad of Apollo, Herakles and Aesculapius.
Situated on the most easterly point of the Hill of Temples. It was not, however, dedicated to Juno. The name given to it erroneously by tradition is the result of confusion with the Temple of Hera on the Lacinian promontory of Crotone. These spectacular ruins still bare the traces of the fire set by the Carthaginians in 406 BC.
Along the Southern side of the city along the hill of Temples one can find early Christian age shelf tombs and tomb niches that were carved out of the Greek Age fortifications. The Christian cemetery was laid out around the large basilica erected by Bishop Gregorio towards the end of the 6th century in the Temple of Concord.
The name derives from a Latin inscription “Concordia Agrigentinorum” found in the vicinity of the sanctuary, which however is completely unrelated to the temple. It has been suggested that the temple was dedicated to the cult of the Dioscuri; Castor and Pollux, a twin cult which was perpetuated with Bishop Gregorio turned the temple into a Christian basilica and dedicated it to Saints Peter and Paul. It is one of the most fully complete temples in the Greek world.
The temple is built in peripteral style, with 6 x 13 columns, the technical precision and the unitary module regulating the entire construction enable it to achieve the same balanced relationship as the temples in the motherland.
When I first got to Agrigento, I didn't really like the town and thought that it was a mistake to have come from Palermo to this città di furbi. The next morning, however, I set out for the Valle dei Tempi and was blown away by the awe-inspiring grandeur of the entire site. The massive dehydration I was suffering helped impress me too. The Valle dei Tempi is so magnificent it's hard to compare it to anything else - even the Parthenon. The Temples are not pristinely preserved, but the sheer number, all lining a hillock, could impress any visitor. Start out early enough so that you can walk the entire length of the road and explore the other parts of the park, like the ruins of a Greek city near the Valle dei Tempi.
I also suggest that, if you're physically capable, you walk the road from Agrigento to Valle dei Tempi. You'll pass by groves of citrus and fig trees and cacti with ripe cactus fruit (cachi in Sicilian). As you approach the Temples will come into view over the orchards - a sight no one should miss.
The valley of the temples is well worth a visit during any Sicily itinerary. On the hillside overlooking Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples is a huge archaelogical excavation of the ancienct greek town. There are, unfortunately, the usual nick nack vendors as you enter.
The idea of such a museum dates back to 1864, when the scholar Giuseppe Picone started a collection of archaeological material from the various necropolises of the area, originally housed in the Town Hall. From 1924, new pieces were added, thanks to the excavation campaigns carried out in that period, while 1939 marks a turning point with the establishment of the Superintendency for the Antiquities of the Provinces of Agrigento and Caltanissetta. The building currently housing the museum was completed in 1960; it is located on the Southern side of Saint Nicolas hillock, where the upper agorà once stood. The museum adjoins the Gothic church of Saint Nicholas and also includes the cloister and refectory of the old Cistercian monastery.
Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Akragas (Girgentum for the Romans, Agrigento nowadays) became one of the leading - and richest - cities of the Mediterranean world. You can still find imponent ruins of temples in the ancient sacred area.
A temple, though, is still standing from the origins (it was not rebuilt....) and that is very very rare.
See my travelogue for more pictures. temples of Agrigento are a MUST!
The name of the temple is due to confusion with the temple Hera at Crotone. Hera was the dauther of Kronos and Rhea, sister and wife of Zeus and mother of all the Olympian gods. The temple is in Doric style to and it is located on a one of the most beautiful panoramic site.
This interesting recumbent statue and the majestic ruins of the temple are dedicated to Olympian Zeus. If you want to pictures this figure the best way is to climb on some stone near. In fact hole area is full of ruins and the stones.
It is one of the best preserved Doric temples of the ancient Greek world, with the Temple of Hera and Paestum (Posidonion) and the Athenian Theseion. Its perfect state of conservation is due to the fact that it has continued to be used in the course of time in 597 AD. I had felling that I was in Athens. It is amazing how it is in very good shape.
Little blaconies with clothes haning over narrow streets of low buildings, doors with arches..
Agrigento was founded in 581 A.C. under the name of Akragas, later on dominated by many different nations, from Greeks to Romans, and Arabs.
There are 6 main churches in Agrigento. The biggest one , kind of cathedral, is the one up the hill (see next tip) Cathedral ' S. Gerlando. There's a newer churche in the downtown and a bigger one close to it should be built soon. Other main churches: Santo Spirito, San Maria dei Greci, S. Nicola, S.Calogero, S.Biagio. Of course, you'll find a bigger number of them there.
About religiosity and S.Calogero fiest please see local customs tips.
Great thing about Agrigento is its provinces. There are many marvelous places at the sea in the provice, some 30-35 km away. Like this place in Oasis of WWF, with fantastic sea, wonderful lansdscapes and colpete relax.
There are and closer beaches...but the ones in the province are really not to miss
It's a typical lanscape for Sicily, Agrigento is no exception too. Dominating brownish, yellow colours as the harvest in June is already taken. In march these hills had completely different shades.
Another thing, that grass burning is still very common here, so once in a while you'll see fires wherever you go.