The Temple of Concordia in Agrigento was built in the 5th century B.C. on a high promontory. Its centrality is framed by a breathtaking landscape consisting of the surrounding hills of clay. Everything degrades towards the sea in a context in which it is still possible to observe the furrow left by the river Akragas. The temple of Concordia in Agrigento seems not to have suffered almost for nothing the deleterious effects of the time. Today, it is one of the best preserved temples not only of Agrigento but of all antiquity. Its beauty survives despite the use, during the implementation phase, of friable materials.
WHY THIS PLACE
Unlike the other temples, the sources do not pass on to which divinity was dedicated. The current name (Tempio della Concordia) derives from a Latin inscription found, near the temple, by the historian Fazello (1490-1570) and has, in fact, no connection with it. The reason for its longevity comes from the transformation into a Greek Orthodox church in the 6th century. A.D. This allowed the adaptation of the ancient temple to the needs of the Byzantine sacred structures and helped to strengthen it from its foundations. From outside you can see the imposing Doric-style colonnade that rises above a stone base.
It was built to give stability to the whole structure and to overcome the difficulties that derive from the very uneven ground. Along the columns are the grooves typical of the classical columns and there is the effect of “optical correction”, typical of many ancient temples: the columns, in fact, do not have the same width in all their points, but have a small enlargement at about 2/3 of height (entasis). This allows you to see the column full even from a distance. In addition, the columns are also slightly bent towards the inside of the front, so as to appear perfectly parallel and straight. Above the columns, ending in Doric capitals, stands the pediment: its triangular structure is simple and without decorations. The basilica took the name of San Gregorio delle Rape, in fact, the bishop Gregorio wanted the consecration of the church; the name also derives from the fact that one of the pagan idols of the temple was called Raps.