Selinunte, in the Trapani area, still represents one of the largest Western Greek colonies ever. The Selinunte Archaeological Park has seven temples, some of which are still in good condition and built in Doric order.
There are also sanctuaries, necropolises and the Cusa quarries.
Temple A and O
These two temples are identical. They were dedicated to Dioscuri and Poseidon and were built between 490-460 BC.
They measure 40.20 m in length, 16.20 m in width and 6.23 m in height.
They are located on the hill of the Acropolis and unfortunately we only have remains of them. Of particular interest are the findings in the floor of the pronaos of Temple A of Punic symbolic figures including the Phoenician goddess Tanit.
Temple C was dedicated to Apollo and is assumed to have been erected around 550 BC. Its dimensions are 63.70 m long, 24 m wide and 8.62 m high. It represents the oldest of all those present on the site and to date 14 columns are visible out of the total 17 on the north side. It is not excluded that it represented archive functions. Inside, three metopes and a very large gorgoneion were found.
Athena was the goddess to whom this temple was dedicated. The construction period is around 540 BC. The dimensions are 56 m long by 24 m wide, with a height of 7.51 m.
Located on the Acropolis, compared to others, it demonstrates a progression in construction techniques. On its exterior is a large altar that, being off-axis with the Temple, suggests that there was previously another place of worship in the area.
Temple E was dedicated to the deity Hera (or Aphrodite). It is estimated to have been built between 460 and 450 BC. Its dimensions: length 67.82 m, width 25.33 m, height 10.19 m.
This temple is in the best state of preservation thanks to a recenter anastylosis, i.e. a reconstruction obtained by reassembling with the original pieces, of the ancient structures that took place between 1956 and 1959. Today, theatre events and concerts are often held inside.
To this day, the deity to whom Temple F was erected is still in doubt: Athena or Dionysus? There is still no certain answer. The construction period is estimated at 550-540 BC. The dimensions are 61.83 m long, 24.43 m wide and 9.11 m high.
Of the Temples on the East Hill, this is both the oldest and the smallest. For this reason, only ruins remain. What is unusual is the entrance on the east side, which is strange for a Greek temple; probably the reason is the need to protect the votive offerings inside from those who wanted to desecrate them.
The deity of this temple was Zeus. The construction period is quite vague, between 530 and 409 BC.
The dimensions possess a length of 113.34 m, a width of 54.05 m and a height of 30 m.
It represents the largest in the Archaeological Park, as well as one of the largest in the entire Greek world. Left unfinished, however, only ruins remain to us today. One column still standing, however, known as ‘lu fusu di la vecchia’, is still the subject of stories and legends.
This temple has only just been discovered, so it is currently still being studied by New York University, headed by Prof. Clement Marconi.
Sanctuary of the Malophoros
The Sanctuary of Malophoros is dedicated to Demeter Malophoros and was built in the 6th century BC.
It is 60 by 50 metres in size. Located on the Gággera hill, it represents the oldest place of worship, when everything was still done in the open air. When the temple was built, it became a sanctuary, probably as a station for funeral processions and sacrifices.
The Buffa Necropolis, north of the eastern hill, Galera Bagliazzo, north-east of the Manuzza hill, Pipio Bresciana and Manicalunga Timpone Nero, west of the Gàggera hill are the necropolis sites of Selinunte.
Manuzza Hill and settlement
The Manuzza hill lay to the north of the acropolis. Archaeological research has shown that the site was inhabited since the founding of Selinunte, but was definitively abandoned after its destruction.
Cave of Cusa
They are located 13 km from Selinunte and are the stone quarries from which the building material for the town was extracted. Here it is possible to see all the stages of stone processing, from the first incisions to the finished blocks ready for transport.
Tours start from 40 minutes (400 metres) to 4 hours (5.5 km). For more information you can click HERE.