Valley of the Temples in Sicily

April 25, 2010

Concordia Sicily

Photographer: Chasiotis Elias
Summary Author: Chasiotis Elias

One of the most renowned of all the Greek temples is the Temple of Concordia, shown above, in the Valley of the Temples, Sicily, Italy. These handsome temples are in current day Agrigento, Sicily, but more than two millennia ago, this area was known as the ancient Greek city of Akragas. The Valley of the Temples is the largest complex of ancient Greek temples in the world. It includes remnants of seven temples, all of Doric style, nearly all built using local sandstone in 5th century B.C. After the sandstone was carved, the temples were covered with stucco. The Temple of Concordia is the most well preserved ancient Greek temple outside Greece, likely because it was used as a Christian church after 6th century A.D – this helped assure it didn’t fall into neglect. As you can see in the details of the lower left photo, some parts of this temple are still in excellent condition. I was fascinated by the presence of fossilized shells in the sandstone. The city walls of ancient Akragas were made from lower quality sandstone that was full of these shells. Note the shell at the lower right is more than four inches (10 cm) in width.