Selinunte Archaeological Area
Strada dei Templi, Castelvetrano, Italy
www.selinunte.net - +39 092 446 540
Selinunte Archaeological Area Castelvetrano Reviews
Impressive Greek Ruins on Coast of Southern Sicily Jun 10, 2005
If you like archaeological ruins, then Selinunte is something to see in the south western region of Sicily overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It covers quite a large area and may be one of the largest archaeological parks in Europe. Some say it rivals even the ruins in Athens itself in size. The ruins of Selinunte include a number of temples, an agora (central spot in ancient Greek city) and an acropolis (citadel built upon elevated ground). The temples themselves, built during different periods in history are labeled by letters (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and O). Most of the temples are in ruins, and only Temple E (Dedicated to Hera and built in the 5th century BC) has been re-erected mostly so far. It is an ongoing archaeological site and new things are always being discovered there, and temples are in the process of being rebuilt. I understand that a new temple, designated Temple R (http://tinyurl.com/mf2otxk) was discovered in 2012. I'll have to find out about this labeling convention...
Regarding the history of the place, Selinunte was a Greek colony city in Sicily dating from around the middle of the 7th century to the 3rd century BC. It's origins are not precisely knows, but is mentioned in the writings of Thucydides. It was the western most colony of Greece, and as such, brought it in contact and conflict with the Carthaginians. The city eventually fell under Carthaginian dominion. Well, I am no scholar in this area, but suffice it to say it had a long history of many centuries with ups and downs. The Greeks and the Carthaginians were always fighting with each other and Selinunte seems to have been one of those places that had it's share of trouble as a result. Like all great cities in ancient times, it eventually met its demise.
I've visited the ruins on many occasions between 1995 and 2005 and always find it a fascinating place to explore. Temple E (dedicated to Hera) is quite impressive in it's re-erected state and really has a presence, even from a distance. Some of the other temples are entirely in ruins, but have their own presence too as you climb up and about the fallen stones of the columns - a modern man navigating these stones toppled by time, but preserving the grandeur of what they must have been to other men when standing in ages past. This is really an impressive site of Greek ruins to visit on the coast of Southern Sicily, and it is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of the Greek period in Italy.
In closing, here is an interesting link to Selinunte Excavations by the New York University (University of Fine Arts) that I found well presented for further information:
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