The first temples and the cult of Demeter and Persephone

The sanctuary of the chthonic deities

The cult of Demeter and Persephone is also documented in Akragas by a monumental sacred area located in the western part of the Hill of the Temples, near Porta V, and divided into three separate terraces.The area is known as the Sanctuary of the chthonic deities .
The first terrace was east of the Porta. The few traces that still remain of the greater temple can be seen in the visible cuts in the rock created to lay the foundations .
This temple, probably dedicated to Demeter, faced north to south. Next to it, evidence has been found of another small temple, which, thanks to a vase fragment with an inscription, can be traced back to the cult of Persephone, daughter of Demeter.
In this temple, on the other hand, several terracotta heads were found, among which one in particular dates back to around 500 BC and is impressive due to the sweet face and refined hairstyle.

Several fragments have been found in the Saint Ctonie Divinity, dedicated to the cult of Demetra and Persephone. Among these, a head of Demetra in shaped terracotta stands out for the sweetness of the face and the refineiness of the hairdressing; the artifact can be dated around 500 B.C. The goddess has a calm and relaxed expression; the face clearly distinguishes eyes, nose, zigomes, lips and chin, which is quite pronounced. The hair is divided by a centre line, from which it descends and reaches the shoulders, passing behind the ears, still visible but rather damaged. The hair on the nape is protected by a headdress.

The second terrace is the best preserved of the entire Sanctuary. The area still has several small temples, enclosures and round altars for the celebration of sacrifices.Un Santuario per le dee che rendono fertili i campiIn the same area there were another two important temples: the Temple of Castor and Temple L, which was completely destroyed, of which we are only familiar with the foundation cuts and a large number of column blocks. The Third Terrace, known as the Terrazzo dei Donari (Terrace of the Donari), was located at the western end of the hill; statues (donari) dedicated to the gods were placed here, supported by pedestals.
With its particular triangular shape, by pausing on the north and west sides, you can still admire the lush gardens of the Kolymbetra.

The Kolymbetra Garden

Empedocles, the political philosopher

The most beautiful city of mortals

The Temple of Hera Lacinia

Reinforcement of natural ramparts

The walls of Akragas in the fifth century BC

Akragas in the beginning

The lively decorations of the temple

The Twelve Labours of Heracles

The Temple of Demeter

The cult of Demeter and Persephone

Sacrifices for the goddesses that made the fields fertile

The sanctuary of the chthonic deities

The Temple of Asclepius

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

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

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

The Akragas building sites

The Eleusinian mysteries

The Temple of Heracles

Vegetation in the Gardens

The Temple of Concordia

Phalaris, the terrible tyrant

Theron, tyrant of the arts and victories