Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Agrigento - The Archaeological Park

The Valley of the Temples is one of the largest archaeological sites in the world according to Wikipedia. We came here to see the mile long row of 7 ancient Greek temples, perched on the city wall, all in varying stages of collapse. Note that we only visited 5 of the 7 temples.

We started our visit to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento with a stop in the site museum, where in addition to an excellent display of vases and coins there are pieces of 4 telamon from the site. A telamon is a statue that holds up part of a building. It is conjectured that Temple of Zeus was supported in part by 38 of these telamon.

The museum was pretty good with English description for most but not all objects, and the archaeological site was very good. It's not often one can see 7 er 5 Greek temples in one afternoon.

In addition, the site has a Roman-era ruins and Christian cemetery ruins that are adjacent to the Greek Temples.

One of the many vases in the museum.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Coin with with owl.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Telamon - over 20 feet tall.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Temple of Castor and Pollux with modern Agrigento behind on the hill.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

A big heap of rubble, fragments of telamons and columns, foundations, and the altar, are all that are left of the Temple of Zeus.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Temple of Hercules.

Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Looking down the Sacred Way to the so-called Temple of Concord, the best preserved of the temples as it's superstructure was converted into a Christian Church about 700 AD.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Concordia reminds one of the temple at Segesta.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Here you can see how the Greek Temple's cella (main room) was cut with arches to make it the nave of the Christian Church.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

And a view back along the ancient city wall to Temple Concordia.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Finally, the Temple of Hera.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

2 comments:

Kathy said...

That telemon looks much more suited to the job of holding up a temple than the caryatids in Athens!

john said...

@kathy, Agreed. Not to mention that there were 38 of them. ;-)