The Church of Santa Maria dei Greci is an authentic architectural jewel: the perfect fusion of a Christian temple and Greek temple which together embrace more than twenty five centuries of worship. It is located in the heart of the ancient centre of the city and is called “of the Greeks” because it was a Greek-orthodox cathedral in the Byzantine era. In the Arabian period it was a safe haven of the Christian cult and subsequently the Normans adopted it as a catholic cathedral, which it remained until the new cathedral built by Bishop Gerlando was completed. The building dates from the 12th or 13th century and has a Gothic portal preceded by a lovely courtyard; it was built on the basement of a 5th century BC Greek temple, allegedly dedicated to the goddess Athena. The remains of the peripteral Doric temple are partially incorporated into the structure of the church and clearly visible in the lateral walls and through the glass floor; by means of a narrow underground corridor you can reach the ancient temple basements. Fragments of a precious 15th century fresco can be scoured on the lateral wall and to the right there is a rare 17th century wooden statue of Mother Mary. Be sure to admire the 16th or 17th century wooden ceilings.
The Church of Santa Maria dei Greci is a short walk downhill from Via Duomo or uphill from Via Athenea.
The guided visit of the church is included in the “Art & Faith” itinerary proposed by the volunteers of the cultural association “Ecclesia Viva”.
April-October: open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00 a.m.-1.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m.-7.00 p.m.
November-March: open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00 a.m.-1.00 p.m.
Monday 24 and Monday 31 December will be open from 10:00 to 13:00
Entrance to the church is free of charge but a voluntary contribution is appreciated.
Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Greci: contact for further information or to book visits at different times
Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Greci, Via Santa Maria dei Greci – 92100 Agrigento
The following coordinates indicate the point of interest
N 37° 18' 46.62''
E 13° 34' 39.87''