The Archaeological and Landscape Park of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, established by a regional law in 2000, preserves the monumental heritage of Akragas, one of the most important Greek colonies in the Mediterranean, which became Agrigentum after the Roman conquest in 210 BC.
Inserted in 1997 among the world heritage of humanity in the list compiled by UNESCO, in 2015 it received the DEVU, a declaration of exceptional universal value, which rewards the quality of the services offered to visitors and the level of accessibility of the site.
Akragasfounded by the Geloi in 580 B.C., shortly after its foundation, it equipped itself with an imposing city wall which delimits an area of approximately 450 hectares and which is adapted to the natural conformation of the calcarenite bank on which the urban layout is laid out. Starting from 550 BC public building sites were started, which over the course of about a century would make Akragas one of the most monumental cities in Greek Sicily. From the end of the 6th century BC. C., when it was erected the Temple of Hercules, the construction of the imposing Doric temples began, arranged along the line of the walls, defining a true sacred wall, almost as if the gods were embracing the city.
Under the tyranny of Theron (488-472 BC) the construction of the Olympieion began, one of the largest sacred buildings of the ancient worldIt was built to celebrate the victory of the Greeks over the Carthaginians at Himera (480 BC). The huge spoils of war were also used to build the Kolymbethraa vast artificial basin fed by a network of underground aqueducts attributed to the architect Feace. After the end of the tyranny, the city adopted a democratic system and work began on the construction of the Temple of Juno and the Temple of the ConcordiaThese are fundamental examples in the history of the development of the Doric style in the colonial environment. These were the years in which the philosopher Empedocles lived and worked, preceding the invasion of the Carthaginian troops, who destroyed the city in 406 BC. A new period of prosperity is during the age of Timoleon (338-334 B.C.) when the walls were rebuilt and new impetus was given to public and private construction. In 210 B.C. Rome conquered the city, which then took the name Agrigentum.
A series of transformations evident in the forum - the public square identified near today's Archaeological Museum - and in the neighbourhood of rich domus known as the Roman Hellenistic Quarterdenote prosperity and the new imprint of Rome.
To this period belong the gymnasium and the temple buildings known as the Oratory of Falaride and Roman TempleThe latter was completed in the Julio-Claudian period at the centre of an arcade adorned with marble statues wearing togas. In the Valley there is also important evidence of the late antique period, when a large necropolis, with sub divo tombs and funerary hypogea excavated in the rock, was established on the southern hill.