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

Garden of Kolybethra continuation

The tyrant Emperor Theron used Carthaginian slaves to construct an extensive hydraulic system to bring water to the basin called Colimbetra, which filled an enormous reservoirs.  This was used as a fish farm and became a refuge for water fowl until it fell to neglect and silted up by the first century BC.

A restored tunnel aqueduct excavated by Carthaginian slaves still provides water for the gardens today.

 

 

The Moors maintained their garden with love. When they no longer ruled, it was handed over in the 16th century to the church for maintenance. It was admired by travellers on the grand tour for several more centuries, and only fell into disrepair when the water supply dried up in the 1980ís

It has now been fully restored, using parts of the original irrigation system. Once again it offers a lush, shady oasis which is sharp contrast with the roasting sun of the ancient and dusty city of Agrigento. 

Grapefruit orchard.

 

Banana trees.

 

Beautiful grapefruit tree... it must been there a long time ago.

 

On the left is the annual garden where they have to re-plant every year. On the right is the citrus orchard with ancient varieties of lemons, mandarins and oranges, irrigated using traditional Arabic techniques.

In the garden they mostly grow annual plants such as tomato, bell pepper, etc..

This is the end of the season so the tomatoes are not in their prime any longer....

 

Where the water does not reach, mulberry, carob, prickly pear, almond and gigantic 'Saracen' olive trees grow.

This is the oldest olive tree in the garden it is estimated to be about 800 years old.


The famous olive tree standing majestically within the garden.

Priceless!  800 years old olive tree.


A fig tree amongst cactus

Orange tree with so many oranges.

From the garden you can see the top of the temple of Dioscuri  Castor and Pollux).

Pretty cool site.

 

View of the valley from the garden

More view from the garden...

 

The cave

Minh is the only one who opted to see the cave inside the garden. 

This is the interior of the cave where fossils can be found.

 

a

Stalactites

a

More stalactites formation...

 

Temple of Vulcan (Hephaestus)

The Temple of Vulcan is located beyond the garden of Kolymbetra, on a small rocky plateau.  You can not access this temple unless you are in the garden.

Only two columns standing on the incomplete base are the remains of the Temple of Vulcan. Erected around 430 B.C. on the western-most end of the hill, its length was 125 foot and its width 163 foot. It was originally surrounded by 34 columns.

The Temple of Volcan is an archaic monument probably dating to 430 and 550 BC. The Temples and has a classic Doric style with six per thirteen columns that rest on a basis of four steps, is now one of the most eroded.

 

 

Not much is left of this temple....

View the temple of Vulcan looking down at the garden of Kolybethra.

We have not reached the end of the valley of temples.

 

We are now walking back to the entrance of the park.

 

Giants broken doric columns laying on the ground...

 

An olive tree growing around ruins...

Again, this tree must be a few century old.

On out way back we passed by the Temple of Concordia

The togadi statues

Two marble togati statues have been found during the excavations of 2005, near the Roman Temple area.  The statues, dating by the 1st half of the 1st century AD because of the drapery pattern and the coloristic rendering of the fold, reproduce a widespread iconography adopted for both the emperor and his family members or for the magistrates.  The loss of their heads does not allow any identification, if they belong to the emperor entourage or rather if they are important person living in Agrigentum. 

This conclude our tour of the Valley of temples.

Next...Sciacca/Dinner in Catania

 

Home

Travel

Our house

Birthdays

Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin