Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valle dei Templi Agrigento – Valley of the temples Agrigento Sicily

Sicily has been one of the stages of human development since history has been recorded. Still today, visual monuments to man’s ingenuity and ability to adapt to his antique environment remain. Sicily is home to one of the great marvels of the Greek Empire, the Valley of the Temples of the Gods. Outside of Agrigento, on the road to Caltagirone, in a ridge depression, erroneously called a valley, stand the remains of temples to Zeus and other Greek gods erected in the VI century BC.

The edifices are truly marvels. One that immediately stands out for its engineering and architectural genius is the Temple of Concordia. When standing close to the structure the viewer notices a slight bulge in the structure beginning at 2/3 the height. Close inspection reveals that the front columns are also slightly tilted inwards toward the body of the structure. When traveling toward the temple from afar the temple stands perfectly erect and geometrically pure. The architects understood the effects of distance and perspective. They built this temple to compensate for depth and distance 1500 years before the same techniques would appear in painted art.

The Valley of temples continued throughout the centuries to be a holy place. During the Christian prosecution, the catacombs were used as safe havens and hiding places. Guided tours carry the tourist through the difficulties and sacrifices made during those trying times. The valley is also a visual calendar of the beliefs of man and his rapport with the deities.

For many this will simply be a walk in the countryside with some big rocks strewn around and old buildings located in the middle of nowhere. For others this will be a vision in time, it will generate a feeling of awe and pride for the accomplishments that mankind. It will stimulate the imagination and the creative being inside their soul.


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Anonymous Pierre said...

Hi David - thank you for the informative review and super photos! I've placed a link to your article at the trivago travel community. Perhaps you would care to add a review or some photographs there also?

2:03 PM


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