Valley of the Temples

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May 19th 2017
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Another day - another temple.... but why stop at one.. Just outside of Agrigento is the Valley of the Temples, a huge site, 2km long with the remains of seven Doric style temples, built between 510 BC and 430 BC.

My pre-planning and research definitely paid off as I had organized a tour using motorised scooters. This was certainly the best way to cover the massive area, particularly in the heat. We had great fun on these sort of off-road, fat-tyred scooters but we also revelled in the wistful looks that everyone else gave us as they were trudging along in the midday sun.

Our guide, Donatella, was delightful and as well as the temples we visited the catacombs (which were originally used as water reservoirs, and the Garden of the Kolymbetra, a lush botanical garden with various citrus, almond & olive trees.

The various temples ranged from well-preserved (Concordia) through to partially standing (Juno, Heracles) to ruins (Zeus, Vulcan) and partially reconstructed (Castor and Pollux). However the names assigned to them are purely historical, not reflecting their original and unknown use.

Fun Fact 1: Valley of the Temples is a misnomer because the site is actually located on a ridge line.

Fact 2: For a 'perfect' temple the column count needs to follow the formula of n=2d+1 where n is the number of columns on the long side and d is the number on the shorter side. There the Temple of Concordia is perfect with a column layout of 6 x 13. But the Temple of Heracles is not (6x15).

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