The first temples and the cult of Demeter and Persephone

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

In the area around the Temple of Asclepius the remains of two porticoes, a fountain, water cisterns and several buildings have been found. This shows that the sanctuary was a destination for many pilgrims who came here in the hopes of being healed.
When pilgrims arrived, they could leave their horses and mules in an area outside then refresh themselves and drink from a fountain of the purest water, of which archaeological traces have been found. In order to ask to be cured of an illness, it was necessary to give a coin to Asclepius by placing it inside a small box with a lid adorned with a bronze open-mouthed snake .
The pilgrims placed their offering into this container before continuing their journey towards the sanctuary. They would often bring with them animals to sacrifice, flat bread with honey or ex-votos to give to the deity; ex-votos could also be purchased inside the sanctuary, from workshops that made them. Archaeological excavations have found several ex-votos in the shape of bread or pomegranates, which were considered a magical fruit. The most common, however, were those that copied different body parts, such as the legs, feet or arms, which the pilgrims gave to the god Asclepius to heal them in that specific area. Healing took place at the hands of the priests and priestesses who lived in the sanctuary.
They were great connoisseurs of medical science, capable of performing difficult surgical operations and making them out to be the god’s work. Excavations brought to light the tools they used such as needles to sew wounds and knives used as surgical scalpels .
When night fell, the sick could dine and rest in areas behind the sanctuary, and while they slept, they hoped to dream that they were healed.

The lively decorations of the temple

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

Reinforcement of natural ramparts

The cult of Demeter and Persephone

The Eleusinian mysteries

Phalaris, the terrible tyrant

The Temple of Concordia

The Kolymbetra Garden

The most beautiful city of mortals

The Akragas building sites

Sacrifices for the goddesses that made the fields fertile

Empedocles, the political philosopher

The Temple of Asclepius

The Temple of Heracles

The Temple of Demeter

The Temple of Hera Lacinia

Akragas in the beginning

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

Theron, tyrant of the arts and victories

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

Vegetation in the Gardens

The walls of Akragas in the fifth century BC

The Twelve Labours of Heracles

The sanctuary of the chthonic deities