6 days in Sicily-09/24 - 09/29/2017

Day 5-Agrigento, 09/28/2017

Temple of Juna-Necropolis Temple of Concordia Temple of Hercule/Garden Garden part 2/ Temple of Vulcan

Temple of Concordia (Tempio Della Cordia)

One of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples in existence, the Temple of Concordia has survived almost entirely intact since it was constructed in 430 BC. It was converted into a Christian basilica in the 6th century and the main structure reinforced, giving it a better chance of surviving earthquakes. Another reason why it has survived while other temples have not, is that beneath the hard rock on which the temple stands is a layer of soft clay that acts as a kind of natural shock absorber, protecting it from earthquake tremors. Whether the Greek engineers knew this when they built the temple is the subject of debate, but modern scholars tend to think they did. In 1748 the temple was restored to its original form.

This Temple is one of the most recognized and important remains of the ancient Greek civilization.  It's facade is represented in the iconic UNESCO logo.



Standing almost as it did when it was first built, the temple of Concordia is simply an incredible sight.


The temple at its highest point almost reached 55 foot.  Each of the 78 columns measure 20 foot and is decorated with flutes or ridges.


The temple is named Concordia after the historian Fazello (1490- 1570) found a Latin inscription "Concordia" found near the temple.


The interior consists of a pronaos (outer part), cella (principal enclosed chamber), and opistodomos (small room in the cella), where treasure, offerings, and public records were kept.


The temple is in such good condition largely because it was converted into a Christian basilica in 597 CE, when the interior was converted into arcades with three naves.


The columns become narrower at the top to make them appear larger but have a bulge two thirds of the way up to counter the narrowing effect... hence they appear to be vertical.

Close look at the columns.


The Temple of Concordia resembles the Temple of Juno, but is better preserved.


The temples have hexastyle columns: six columns in the front of the temple and 13 columns on the sides. In Sicily, 13 is a lucky number.  The temples were built in the classical period and used a Doric style.

Built as a Pagan Temple in 430 BC, Concordia become a Roman Catholic church in 597 at which time it acquired the arched wall structure within (restored back to a temple in 1748).

Fallen statue of Icarus

Bronze statue depicting the fallen Icarus, created by the renowned sculptor Igor Mitoraj lies on the ground close on the side of the Temple of Concordia.
 Icarus was the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos of Crete within the walls of his own invention, the Labyrinth. But the great craftsman's genius would not suffer captivity. ... The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.

The statue has been on display since 2011 when it formed part of an exhibition of 17 sculptures by the Polish artist Igor Mitoraj.

The comeback of the Girgentana goat in the valley of the temples

There were in the past more than 30,000 goats in the hills and coastal zone of the province. Today, however, this breed is in danger of disappearance.

The Archaeological Park of Agrigento has recently introduced the Girgentana goats and its main gold is to reintroduce and preserve the goat within the Valley of Temples, where the traditional presence of the grazing Girgentana goat has contributed to define the amazing landscape and culture of the Valley.

The Girgentana breed has its ancient origins in the Markhor or Falconeri goat.  It was bread and selected in Sicily, particular in the south western area.  Its name derived from Girgenti, the name of the city of Agrigento.

The goat has a beard and on its head there is a thick lock that is cut by the breeder to form a "fringe" with the exception of the male goat.


The Girgentana goat has characteristic horns, twisted into a spiral form. It has a long beard and a primarily white coat with grey-brown hair around the head and throat. It has a good production of high-quality milk.


Resting in the shade and enjoying the view of the valley


Minh and Loan also taking a little break before heading to the next temple.



Next...Temple of Hercules




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