The monumentalization of Akragas

From pagan cults to Christian worship: the Church of St. Gregory

At the end of the 6th century AD, the bishop Gregory decided to ordain the Temple of Concordia for Christian worship. Therefore, in 597 AD the temple was transformed into a church dedicated to the saints Peter and Paul. This change of use was a stroke of luck for the temple, since it was protected from the sad fate of becoming a quarry of materials to be reused to build new buildings in the surrounding area, which happened to the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
But in order to transform the building into a Christian church, numerous changes had to be made that greatly transformed its appearance. First of all, since all churches face west, while temples face east, the wall of the opisthodomos was demolished to create the nave.
In addition, the open spaces between the columns were closed off, and in the walls of the cella (shrine) six arches per side were opened.
Dai culti pagani ai culti cristiani- la Chiesa di San GregorioThe arches are still visible today, even from the outside. The temple, then a place of Christian worship, ceased to perform its religious functions in 1748, when it was decided to return it to its original form. The spaces between the columns were reopened and the wall of the pronaos rebuilt.
The Christian faith is still very popular in Agrigento, where two important religious events are celebrated: the Feast of Saint Calogero , the most adored saint, and the Feast of Saint Gerland, patron saint of the city.

The walls of Akragas in the fifth century BC

Phalaris, the terrible tyrant

A monument for the victory over Carthage: the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The sanctuary of the chthonic deities

The lively decorations of the temple

The Temple of Heracles

The Temple of Demeter

The most beautiful city of mortals

The Akragas building sites

The Temple of Hera Lacinia

The Eleusinian mysteries

The Twelve Labours of Heracles

Empedocles, the political philosopher

The Temple of Concordia

Reinforcement of natural ramparts

The Kolymbetra Garden

Vegetation in the Gardens

Akragas in the beginning

The Temple of Asclepius

The Sanctuary of Asclepius: a place of welcome for the sick

Sacrifices for the goddesses that made the fields fertile

The cult of Demeter and Persephone

Theron, tyrant of the arts and victories

From pagan cults to Christian worship: the Church of St. Gregory