The golden lure of Selinunte

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Selinunte


The breathtaking view of the dark blue Southern Sicily sea is what makes Selinunte a unique, appealing site. The visit to the archeological park, which covers more than 270 hectares, starts from the eastern temples. The temple which is now called Temple G, is one of the most colossal buildings of Greek architecture. Temple E is one of the finest examples of Doric architecture in Sicily. Both their metopes, with a mythological subject, are now preserved at the Archeological Museum in Palermo. The visit continues to the Acropolis and the ancient town where the remains of the houses are still visible. You cannot miss a visit to the Sanctuary of the Malophoros, dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of fertility.

The best way to go around in Selinunte? Rent a comfortable electric vehicle from ECOTOUR ( info: + 39 329 2133502 – + 39 347 1645862 – + 39 328 6945664 – + 39 380 3907485 – + 39 347 4014906 – forza1983@hotmail.it) . You can experience the charm of the ancient town following a path that winds for almost 4 kilometers. We did it on board of a small train where our Arturo also found a place and enjoying being cuddled by Italian and most of all, foreign tourists.

The Archeological Park of Selinunte is the largest in Europe and it witnesses the remains of the impressive city founded in the late sixth century BC by Pamillos Megara Hyblea. However, the most westerly of the Greek colonies in Sicily had a short life, because of the frequent conflicts with the neighboring Segesta: the siege of 409 BC is remembered as one of the bloodies massacres of the ancient world. Later, during the Middle Age, a major earthquake will erase the traces forever. Despite all this, you still feel very small standing by Temple G, probably dedicated to Apollo: enormous, it’s more than 110 meters long and more than 50 meters wide. It is almost intact and it can also be visited on the inside.

The discovery we liked the most? At his feet, in the shade and in the shelter of a large rock, a small hawk was resting, watching us a bit disappointed as we discovered his hiding place.

Walking, you can proceed toward the Acropolis, still partly surrounded by the defensive walls and the with the remains of five sacred buildings and a number of other public facilities. From here, peering into the waves of the sea lapping the long beach below, you can see the long jetties of what, 2006 years ago was a thriving commercial harbor. The gaze is then lost into the sea, where you can see small boats, swaying lazily on the waves, wrapped in the golden afternoon light that warms the columns of the majestic temples with its amber tones.

The excavations, on this hillock surrounded by two rivers, the Modione and the Gorgo Cottone, began in 1825 by means of two British architects, Harris and Angel, and have continued since, almost never interrupted.

But what astonishes more is that much of the site has yet to be brought to light!

(Traduzione di Monia Saponaro)

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