Agrigento (Sicily - Italy)
Agrigento 59.605 is a common coastal inhabitants, located 230 meters above sea level in the homonymous province, its territory covers an area of 245,32 sq km.
Founded around 580 a. C., Agrigento It boasts a territory where they settled the various peoples who left their mark on the island.
Was home to indigenous peoples who maintained commercial relations with the Aegean and Mycenaean, the Agrigento region saw the rise of the polis Akragas), founded by Geloan rhodium-Cretan origin.
In its long history the city has had four names: "Akragas" for the Greeks "Agrigentum" for the Romans, "Kerkent or Gergent" for the Arabs; for the Normans was "Girgenti", official name of the city until 1929, in which it was used un'italianizzazione the name that had the city during the Roman rule.
It reached its zenith in the fifth century BC, before the decline started from the Carthaginian domination.
Agrigento is an Italian town, capital of the province of Agrigento in Sicily.
It is known as the City of Temples for its expanse of Doric temples of the ancient Greek city that are located in the "Valley of the Temples", inserted in 1997, among the "world heritage UNESCO".
In 210 BC was sacked by the Romans, and subject to the Empire, but he met in the following centuries, the invasion and rebuilt by the Arabs who rebuilt it on top of the hill where today you can admire the old town is characterized precisely by the typical Arab conformation, with its small alleys and courtyards that converge on the "Via Atenea", which is considered even today the most important thoroughfare of the city.
The historic center of Agrigento still has many medieval buildings (churches, monasteries, convents and palaces).
In the historical center are preserved significant evidence Arab-Norman art, including in particular the San Gerlando Cathedral, Palazzo Steri headquarters of the seminary, the bishop's palace, the Basilica of Santa Maria dei Greci, the monumental complex of Santo Spirito, and the gates of the city wall.
The "Via Atenea" from "Porta di Ponte", entirely through the historic center and on it overlooking beautiful buildings and numerous fruit churches of building styles sometimes totally different from each other that contain inside some real treasures sacred art often unknown to the public.
Among them, in the churches, you can see numerous works of Serpotta and Gagini.
Features and valuable churches "Addolorata" and "San Francesco di Paola", located in the popular district Rabato, of St. Joseph, St. Dominic, dell'Itria or St. Alphonsus, Immaculate and St. Mary of the Greeks built on the ruins of a greek temple.
Agrigento today covers an area of square kilometers in 245 230 meters above sea level and has about 60.000 inhabitants.
In the literature, the most famous Agrigento is Luigi Pirandello; among others Agrigento or rather famous Akragas, that lived in the Doric Akragas, undoubtedly we have to quote the philosopher Empedocles or the athlete, winner of a famous Olympics, Esseneto, which is also dedicated the stadium.
Contemporary remember Leonardo Sciascia (Racalmuto, north of Agrigento) and Andrea Camilleri who makes Vigata (Porto Empedocle, town in the province of Agrigento) and Montelusa (Agrigento) theater of the Inspector Montalbano deeds.
Remarkable is the cultural activities carried out both by public and private institutions.
Exhibitions, conferences, theatrical and musical seasons at the theater Luigi Pirandello with the best companies in the world, in concerts at the San Nicola Museum, the Academy of Mediterranean Studies, the Conference of Pirandello studies, the Empedocle Prize, the Pirandello Stable festivals, concerts Plan in the summer theater in San Gregorio at the foot of the mythical Greek temples and many other initiatives.
In the last week of September it takes place the golden Efebo, international prize, organized by the Research Center for Fiction and Cinema which rewards the best film adapted from a literary work.
The award, also, a television section.
The most important archaeological site is the "Valley of the Temples", dating from the Hellenistic period, with the remains of ten Doric temples, three sanctuaries, a large concentration of burial (Montelusa; Moses; Pezzino; Roman necropolis and the tomb of Theron; Early Christian; Acrosoli), various water projects (the garden of Kolymbetra and Hypogeum), fortifications, part of a neighborhood built on Roman Hellenistic Greek plan and two important meeting places: the Agora lower (not far from the remains of the temple of Olympian Zeus ) and the upper Agora (that is inside the museum complex); There are also a Olympeion and Bouleuterion (boardroom) Roman era of Greek plan.
The Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples is the largest archaeological site in the world (about 1300 has).
The temple of Olympian Zeus was the largest temple of the Magna Grecia.
Another important archaeological site is the Rock of Athena, the highest point of the ancient city of Akragas, where the remains of a Hellenistic mill, and its south-west slopes were found contains one of the many temples of the chthonic deities, built in the church medieval San Biagio.
The site where later arose the city of Akragas, may have been the site of the city of Kamikos, first and most powerful city sicana led by legendary Kokalos, the king who hosted Daedalus after his escape from the labyrinth of Minos in Crete.
The legend says that Minos, Daedalus traced to Kokalos court departed for Sicania to hand over the brilliant architect and kill him, being killed by the daughters of King Sican after being caught with a trap.
The Italian text is taken from:
- Wikipedia (Creative Commons)
- Agrigento Guide