Overview Agrigento is one of the most popular cities in Sicily. As a matter of fact, Agrigento is world-renowned for its Valle dei Templi, (Valley of the Temples). The Valle dei Templi is actually the most known and celebrated archaeological area of Agrigento. In here, stand the monuments remaining from the of the old town of Akragas founded in the sixth century BC by the colonists of Gela and it was transformed, in approximately 100 years, in "the most beautiful city of mortals" (Pindar). Later, Akragas (Agrigento) was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 406, refunded in 340 BC, and it had new glory. But suddenly, it was bound to its final decline with the arrival of the Byzantines. Therefore, the ancient town was abandoned in the ninth century after the Arab conquest, and it was reduced to a small area on a hill dominating Girgenti, from which, later on, Agrigento took its name. Passed to the Normans, the town was chosen as diocese and adorned with a lot of churches. So new buildings and monuments continued to born between the fourteenth and fifteenth century and even later between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1927 the town took the name of Agrigento and today has 56,000 inhabitants.
Landmarks Cathedral Founded at the end of the eleventh century by the bishop Gernso, with a Norman-Gothic style, the cathedral in Agrigento was enlarged and modified several times from the fourteenth century until the seventeenth century, keeping its original aspect. Actually of great importance is the Cathedral Treasure, particularly rich in works of art of high historical and artistic value. Among them, it’s highlighted the famous Sarcophagus of Phaedra, wonderful and elegant marble work of Roman era. In the archives of the cathedral is preserved a unique and mysterious document, the "letter of the devil", a seventeenth century manuscript found by a nun, written in incomprehensible characters. The Convent of the Holy Spirit The Convent of the Holy Spirit is one of the finest monument in Sicily. In fact, it was built in 1260 and consists of the church and the next Cistercian monastery. Church of San Lorenzo and Hypogeum The Church of San Lorenzo and Hypogeum, otherwise called "Purgatory", was built in the seventeenth century in the place of a more ancient and sacred building having the same name. Inside, a single nave, you can admire eight beautiful female statues by Giuseppe and Giacomo Serpotta, representing the virtues: Mildness, Religion, Strength, Justice, Love, Simplicity, Charity, Prudence. Furthermore, adjacent to the former monastery, which is also the seat of the Municipality Offices, the “Teatro Luigi Pirandello” was built by G.B. Basile. Presently, it has been restored and so after many years of restoration work, it returned to its original splendor. To discover more about Agrigento, you may visit:
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