VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES
TEMPLE OF ZEUS


recommended visit time
30 minutes

Even though today it appears as a heap of ruins scattered across an extensive area, the Olympieion of Akragas was one of the wonders of the ancient world, both for its colossal dimensions and the originality of certain architectural solutions. The majestic structure, situated on the western side of the Valley of the Temples, was almost as large as a modern-day football field, with columns that soared over 18 meters in height. Unlike other temples, the Temple of Zeus or Jupiter Olympius was surrounded by walls adorned with semi-columns and capitals. It seems that above the brackets placed between each semi-column, at a height of approximately 11 meters, there were Telamons supporting the imposing entablature: statues standing at 7.65 meters in height, depicting the Giants subdued by Zeus.

In ancient myth, the father of the gods condemned the defeated and formidable giants to bear eternal burdens. Foremost among them, Atlas, received the fateful task of supporting the world on his shoulders. The Temple of Zeus, architecturally conceived, thus echoed the severe punishment inflicted upon the Titans who had dared to wage war against the new ruler of Olympus.

Over two decades of meticulous mapping and study of weathered and scattered blocks in the area have enabled the reconstruction and restoration of one of these colossal elements. The towering stone figure standing in this area is, in fact, a reassembly of one of these Telamons, complemented by reconstructed parts. The resurrected Telamon serves as the initial piece in a significant musealization project, aiming to convey the grandeur of the statues that once adorned the colossal entablature and provide visitors with a glimpse of the exceptional proportions of the majestic Olympieion of Akragas.

The most intact Telamon can still be admired today within the Archaeological Museum of Agrigento, standing proudly in the Zeus Room alongside well-preserved heads of these colossal statues. Meanwhile, the Telamon lying amidst the ruins of the inner area of the Temple of Zeus, in the Valley of the Temples, is a faithful reproduction of its counterpart housed in the museum. On the eastern side, facing the temple’s crepidoma, lie the magnificent remains of the altar for performing hecatombs: the epic sacrifices of 100 oxen. According to Diodorus Siculus, the Olympieion remained unfinished due to the Carthaginian conquest in 406 B.C., which ravaged and set the city ablaze.

Archeological Area Tourist Information
THIS information is subject to change without prior notice

The Archaeological Park can be accessed from the east entrance near the “Temple of Juno” or from the west entrance ” Porta V” (near to the ancient Greek gate).

Reservation and purchase of tickets through the Call center or on CoopCulture website is recommended.

Each one of the entrances has the following services: Parking, Ticket, Bus, Information.

From September 18th 2023 to June 30th 2024: open every day from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm (last entry to 7:00 pm).

Reservation and purchase of tickets through the Call center or on CoopCulture website is recommended.

Ticket to the Valley of the Temples: €12  per person.

Free entry for children, younger than 18 years old. 50% discount for EU citizens between 18 and 25 of age

Combo Tickets

Valley of the Temples + Archaeological Museum = € 16.80

Valley of the Temples + Garden of the Kolymbethra= € 18.00

Valley of the Temples: contacts for institutional information

Tel. +39 0922621611

Fax  +39 092226438

CoopCulture – Call center: contacts for reservations, tickets and information

tel. +39 09221839996

The following coordinates indicate the point of interest

GPS
N 37° 17' 26.92''
E 13° 35' 3.84''

Google maps
37.29081, 13.58440

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