Valley of the Temples – The garden of the Kolymbethra
The Valley of the Temples is a Sicilian archaeological park characterized by the exceptional state of preservation. It is a unique place in the world, characterized by important Doric temples of the Hellenic period. This extraordinary archaeological site is among the largest in the Mediterranean. Moreover, for its beauty and importance, it has been included in the list of World Heritage Sites drawn up by UNESCO.
The Valley of the Temples is characterized by the remains of eleven temples in Doric order, three sanctuaries and a large concentration of necropolis. But there are also hydraulic works, fortifications, part of a Hellenistic Roman quarter built on a Greek plan, two important meeting places (the Lower Agora and the Upper Agora). And then an Olympeion and a Bouleuterion (council hall) of Roman times on a Greek plan. In short, an enormous amount of treasures.
The perfect conclusion to a visit to the Valley of the Temples can only be one: the garden of Kolymbethra. This is a garden capable of giving shade and coolness with its ancient olive trees and unique scents in the world produced by its citrus fruits.
The Kolymbethra exists since the time of Akragas, the ancient city founded by the Greeks in the sixth century BC today identified with Agrigento. The name refers to the large tank wanted by the tyrant Theron to collect the water that flowed from the artificial galleries. In the following centuries the garden passed under the possession of the Church and it was taken care of by the abbots of the Badia Bassa. These introduced citrus plants and a cultivation of sugar cane. Of Kolymbethra took care of some farmers of Agrigento, until the last decades of the ‘900. Since then it fell into a state of abandonment. But thanks to the intervention of the Italian Environmental Fund has been recovered and brought to its former glory.
Today is a site open to the public, where in addition to the beauty of the garden you can also visit the path of the hypogea. The hypogea were used for the construction of the ancient hydraulic network and from these flowed the water for irrigation.