Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples at Agrigento is one of the most important monumental areas of the Mediterranean. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 thanks to its excellent state of preservation after more than 2500 years, this Sicilian archaeological park is a precious jewel of inestimable value and undeniable fascination. Looking at the temples with the sea in the background, you will see in order the temple of Juno, the Paleo-Christian necropolis, the temple of Concord, Villa Aurea, the temple of Hercules, then those of Olympic Jove, the Dioscuri and Vulcan.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Archaeological Park

North of the temple of Concord we find the Palaeo-Christian necropolis with its hypogea and catacombs, while to the west stands Villa Aurea, the home of Sir Alexander Hardcastle, to whom we owe many of the excavations in the Valley of the Temples.
Continuing along the slope we arrive at the temple of Hercules, the oldest to be built at Akragas and to have reached our times. Crossing the road we find the temple of Olympian Jove, an immense structure, built on the orders of the tyrant Theron. Unfortunately not much remains of it except for the evidence of the gigantic Telamons that were placed between each two columns, half way up from the base. Here there is now only a limestone copy, while we can admire the original inside the Museo Archeologico Regionale at San Nicola. A little farther along we reach the area sacred to the Chthonic Divinities, with many altars where sacrifices were offered in the honour of the divinities of the earth. In this area is the temple of Castor and Pollux or the Dioscuri, also known as the temple of "the three columns", because although it has four columns, from whichever point you look at it, you can only see three. Situated on a crag on the farthest side of the hill, is the temple of Vulcan, where it is possible to see the entire base with two columns standing of the original 34. To reach it you pass through the Kolymbetra Garden, a place where it is still possible to enjoy the sight of orange and lemon trees, almonds, mulberries and many other kinds of fruit trees, smell their perfume and appreciate the sensations that this garden evokes. On returning towards Porta Aurea, just below the temple of Hercules, it is possible to see the Tomb of Theron. From there, walking along the tree-lined avenue, we find on the right the temple of Aesculapius, dedicated to the god of medicine and a place of pilgrimage for sick and suffering people. Going up towards the city, next to the church of San Nicola built in the 13th century, is the Museo Archeologico Regionale which holds in its 19 galleries archaeological treasures of world-wide importance, including vases, statues and the famous Telamon.

The Val di Mazara territory

The other destinations in the surroundings of Relais Briuccia at Montallegro

The Sicilian territory of the Val di Mazara is a breathtaking spectacle both by day and by night: the ancient Phoenician colony of Eraclea Minoa is not to be missed, with traces of the Roman presence on top of the Greek remains (it is only 10 minutes from Relais Briuccia) and Burgio with its Jewish quarter, a town of ceramics and bell foundries.
And for those who love nature and the sea, a few kilometres from Montallegro is the WWF Torre Salsa Wildlife Reserve.

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