The Valley of the Temples holds some of the most classical architecture in the world! The Greeks settled in Akragas (now known as Agrigento) and after winning the war against the Carthaginians (and later in the first Punic Wars), most of the Carthaginian population were used as slave labour to build these very temples…
The Temple of Concordia
The Temple of Concordia dates back from the 5th century and is one of the best preserved Ancient Greek temples in the world. The Temple of Concordia was named after the Latin inscription found in the temple to ‘the harmony of the people of Agrigento’. In the 6th century, The Temple of Concordia was transformed into a Christian basilica.
In front of The Temple of Concordia lies a contemporary bronze statue of the fallen Icarus who flew too close to the sun.
The Temple of Heracles
Inside the Temple of Heracles there was a bronze statue of the Greek hero himself. This grand temple can be seen from a distance to honour Heracles as he was known for his mighty strength. This Doric temple is the most ancient (built in 510 B.C) and unfortunately has been largely destroyed by war and natural disasters over time.
The Temple of Juno (Hera)
Dedicated to the Goddess of fertility Juno (also known as Hera, the wife of Zeus), stands the Temple of Juno at 120 meters above sea level! In the East side of the Temple, there is an altar which was designed for sacrifices to the Goddess.
The Temple of Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri)
This Temple was dedicated to the two twin brothers Castor and Pollux (Zeus was the father of Pollux) and is now widely regarded as the symbol of Agrigento. Unfortunately, only four of the 34 columns remain.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Jupiter)
This is what remains of The Temple of Olympian Zeus which was built to honour and thank Zeus for the Agrigentines’ victory over the Carthaginians in 480 B.C. The remains still depict how vast the building must have been when the temple was standing. Telamons were used by the Romans to indicate male statues used in architecture as a support. Many believe the statues represent the Carthaginians defeated at Himera by Theron of Agrigento and Gelo of Siracuse in 480 B.C, which was intended to humiliate the Carthaginians loss in war.