Archaeological Park of Selinunte, the largest in EuropeDecember 13, 2013
In the town of Castelvetrano, on the southwestern coast of Sicily, there is the wonderful Archaeological Park of Selinunte, which contains the ruins of the homonymous Greek city founded in 650 BC and destroyed by the Carthaginians in 409 BC. Established in 1993, the park covers an area of 270 hectares and is considered the largest and most imposing of Europe. Every year, in any season, tens of thousands of visitors from around the world come to the Archaeological Park of Selinunte to admire the remains of the ancient city.
The archaeological zone is divided into several areas: the hill Gaggera, the Acropolis, the hill Mannuzza, the eastern hill and the necropolis. The tour itinerary includes a visit to Selinunte’s great Temple G, on the eastern hill, probably dedicated to the god Apollo: less than 115 meters long, 55 wide and 30 high, is the largest in Selinunte and one of the largest in the greek world. No less majestic Temples E and F, in the Doric style, are devoted respectively to Hera and to Athena and Dionysus. On the western hill, called Gaggera, lie the sanctuary Malophoros, so named for the small sacred feminine statues depicted with a pomegranate, and the Temple M.
At the coast, slightly shifted to the west, lies the incomparable Acropolis, on which stand four temples: Temple D, Temple C, Temple A, and Temple O. The temple C is the oldest, dating back to 580 BC, and is easily recognizable by the row of 14 columns, 17 on the original, which were reassembled and raised during the work carried out between 1925 and 1927. It is supposed to be dedicated to the god Apollo, too.
Finally, the necropolis of Selinunte, where were found thousands of objects, including Greek vases, terracotta figurines and ornaments of all kinds. Pipio Brescia and Manicalunga Timpone Nero is the most extensive area, and given the distance from the city center, it is still unclear if it is actually the necropolis of Selinunte or another area. Inside this place were found amphorae and pithoi, which demonstrate the use of the rite of cremation. The sarcophagi are made of terracotta or tuff.
The Archaeological Park of Selinunte is open every day from 9 AM to 7 PM, except on Sundays and public holidays, when the closure is anticipated to 1:30 PM. The ticket office closes at 6 PM on weekdays and 12:30 AM on Sundays and holidays. In winter time, weekday closing is anticipated to 5 PM and the ticket office closes at 4 PM. The price of the ticket is 6 € (reduced price 3 €).