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           A visit to the temples should begin with the eastern temples, which are lettered E, F and G, since it is not known who they where dedicated to. On the basis of one inscription, Temple E is thought to have been dedicated to Hera. This temple was built in the fifth century, and is one of the best examplesbof a Doric temple.           

Hera temple

Hera temple

Temple F was built in 600 B.C.. It is the one that has been most ransacked, but here too some metopes were found, partraying Athena and Dionysius struggling with giants.

            Temple G, the first one starting from the north side, is one of the biggest temples of classical antiquity. It seems it was dedicated to Apollo, the protector of the people of Selinus. They began to build it in 580 B.C., but one hundred years later it was still unfinished.

              The temple extends over a surface area of 6000 square metres (about one-and-a-half acres), and is surrounded by peristyle of forty-six columns 16.27 metres high with  a circumference of 10.7 metres.  From the great mass of ruins there emerges one solitary trunk of a column, restored in 1832, this can give one an idea of how grandiose the building was.

            The visit goes on with the acropolis, an irregular area surrounded by walls 2-3 metres thick, in which various towers are six temples buildings, as well as more modest sacred buildings, such as aedicules, altars and so forth.




Of particular importance is Temple C, the biggest one in the acropolis, built in the middle of the sixth century at the highest point in the area. The two pendiments, inside which there was a teracotta Gorgon mask - now at the National Museum in Palermo together with the metopes from the same temple - were covered with terracotta slabs decorated with floral motifs.

            We must also mention the temple "with the little metopes": it has yielded six metopes, which are the most ancient sculpture from Selinus, since they go back to the first years of the sixth century.

            At the northern extremity of the acropolis one can see the main gate, defended by imposing fortifacations, which partly belong to the original town and partly to the rebuilding by Hermocrates.






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Up to date :  12 january 2010

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