Monday, 25 June 2018
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Timeless Island


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...The temple of Concord can be seen just peeping out from the southern extremity of this plain which is green colored and covered with flowers; a few ruins of the temple of Juno can be seen if you look toward the east; the ruins of all the sacred buildings are situated in the same line of the above mentioned temples. Still today only a small part of the landscape, admired by Goethe in 1787, has changed, and the Valley of Temples is the most famous and praised part of Agrigento.  Inside the Valley of Temples there are different monuments; they are what is left of the ancient city of Akragas that was founded during the sixth century B.C. by settlers that came from Gela and became in a hundred years, "the finest city of mortals" (Pindar). Destroyed by Carthaginians in 406, it was re-founded by Timoleontesin 340 B.C. and had new moments of splendour, even if it was heading to the decline, that became definitive with the Byzantines. The ancient part of the city was abandoned during the ninth century, after the Arab conquest, and the urban nucleus was restricted to a hill above that took the name of Gergent. Then it was conquered by the Normans, the city became a diocese and different churches were built in it. Buildings and monuments were made during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and again during a period included between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1927 the city took the name of Agrigento and today it has 56.000 inhabitants. An entire day is required to visit the town.