Ticket valid for the visit of the Eastern Hill, the area of the Zeus temple and the Greek-Roman distric
Open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm.
By selecting "audioguide" visit will also include this service; audioguides are provided with historical information, art, mythology and architecture so that the visitors can discover the mysteries and secrets of the Valley of the Temples. Languages English and Italian.
Cashier closes thirty minutes before the site closure.
Reserved tickets must be picked up showing the confirmation voucher at the bookshop placed at Piazzale Hardcastle.
Cancellation policy: cancellations must be made at least 1 working day before the visit to get the refund of the unused tickets minus the service fee; further cancellations and no shows are not refundable.
Stretched out along a ridge, inappropriately referred to as "valley", and nestling in the area to the south of it, are a series of temples which were all erected in the course of a century (5C BC), as if to testify to the prosperity of the city at that time. Having been set ablaze by the Carthaginians in 406 BC, the buildings were restored by the Romans (1C BC) respecting their original Doric style. Their subsequent state of disrepair has been put down either to seismic activity or the destructive fury of the Christians backed by an edict of the Emperor of the Eastern Empire, Theodosius (4C). The only one to survive intact is the Temple of Concord which, in the 6C, was converted into a Christian church. During the Middle Ages, masonry was removed to help construct other buildings, in particular, the Temple of Zeus, known locally as the Giant’s Quarry, provided material for the church of San Nicola and the 18C part of the jetty at Porto Empedocle.
All the buildings face east, respecting the Classical criterion (both Greek and Roman) that the entrance to the cella (Holy of Holies) where the statue of the god was housed could be illuminated by the rays of the rising sun, the source and blood of life.
On the whole, the temples are Doric and conform to the hexastyle format (that is with six columns at the front), the exception being the Temple of Zeus, which had seven engaged columns articulating the wall that encloses the building. Built of limestone tufa, the temples provide a particularly impressive sight at dawn, and even more so at sunset when they are turned a warm shade of gold.
Eastern Hill, the area of the Zeus temple and the Greek-Roman distric (except Fragapane grotto and Paleochristian antiquarium)
Reduced price: persons between 18 and 24 years old
Free ticket: persons between 0 and 17 years old, and over 65 years old, residents in the EU, showing an id document.
Available in Italian and English
Cost € 5.00
Duration: 1 hour and a half
Pick up at the bookshop