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Valley of the Temples, Italy
Idea About: place
The Valley of the Temples is a large sacred area on the south side of the ancient city of Agrigento. It is located on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, and is the capital of the province of Agrigento. Nowadays it is also known as the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas, one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden age of Ancient Greece. The city was initially founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century BC and it quickly became a major cultural center. The seven monumental Greek temples in the Doric style were constructed within a hundred years, between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. They stand in line along the top of the mountain ridge (not in the valley) facing east, which was a standard feature for Greek and Roman temples, that the statue of the god housed in the temple would be illuminated by the first rays of the rising sun.
What Makes It Special
One of the cultural cradles of humanity, the Valley of the Temples is one of the most important archeological sites in the world and in 1997 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Temples which the Greek built at the dawn of civilization continue to serve as a stronghold of divinity, art and culture. The site is linked to early Christianity by labyrinth of ancient catacombs.
Directions To Destination
Agrigento is in southwestern Sicily, overlooking the sea. It's just off the main road that runs along Sicily's south coast. It's about 140km south of Palermo and 200 km west of Catania and Syracuse.
Best Time To Go
Summers are hot in Sicily. The best time to visit is fall or spring.
Where To Stay
- Villa Athena - five star hotel in prime location from €150 - €240 to €900 - €1700 per night (in low and high season).
Sightseeing, bathing on the beaches. There are daily boats and hydrofoils in summer (fewer or no hydrofoils in winter) from Agrigento’s port 1.5 miles away - Porto Empedocle to the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa.
Useful Visitor Information and Tips
Hours for visiting: Valley of the Temples - 8:30 to 19:00 daily; area of Zeus - 9:00 to 17:00 daily; Museum - 9:00 to 19:00. Sun. and Mon., 9:00 to 13:00; hours for guided tours daily 10.30 am-5.30 pm
Tags: Agrigento; Akragas; Campo del Olympeion; Catania (2); Grotte Fragapane; Italy (9); Lampedusa; Linosa; Palermo (2); Porto Empedocle; Sicily (3); Syracuse; Tempio dei Dioscuri; Tempio di Asclepio (Esculapio); Tempio di Concordia; Tempio di Efesto (Vulcano); Tempio di Eracle (Ercole); Tempio di Hera Lacinia; Tempio di Zeus Olimpio; Tempio L; Tomba di Terone; UNESCO World Heritage Site (19); Valley of the Temples