Agrigento, November 25-26, 2016

Drove south from Cefalu to Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples, (actually most are built on a ridge), one of the greatest displays of Greek art and architecture, a national monument in  Italy, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This archaeological site is the largest in the world with 1300 hectares (3212 acres).  There are 7 Doric temples, parts of gates, parts of a necropolis and other tombs and catacombs.  (we actually visited the park twice, as we could not fit it all in the first day, so some pictures show different lighting). Above and below is the Temple of Juno or Hera, (Tempio di Giunone), built about 450 BC. Walking on the ridge, looking over the valley towards Agrigento. Above and below, some of the tombs built on the ridge. Then to the temple of Concordia, built in the 5th century BC, and one of the most preserved temples in the Valley.  It was turned into a church in 6th century AD. Above and below are the Agrigento goats, called Girgentana, domestic goat indigenous to the area.  Both sexes have the tall spiral horns!  They are on the endangered list. Above is one of the catacombs.  Below are remains of Temple of Heracles, built in 5th-6th century BC, the most ancient of the temples.  It was destroyed by an earthquake.   Above and below show the Temple of Zeus and its surrounding archaeological ruins, called the Olympeion field.  Built in 480 BC to celebrate the victory over Carthage, it has been reduced to ruins.  Above and below are the “telamons” or giants, male statues used for building supports in reference to Atlas. Above and below, Tempio dei Dioscuri, with some fallen columns.  Also called the Temple of Castor and Pollux, reconstructed in early 19th century, using pieces from other temples. Above and below The Altar of the Temple of Zeus.   Above are grooved areas we found among the ruins in the area.   Some looked like furrows for water, others for connecting stones to each other. Above and below the Sanctuary of the Chthonic deities.

Ending our Sicilian road trip and leaving the Valley of the Temples on our drive back to Marina di Ragusa.  Beautiful places to spend lots of time exploring!

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