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King of Sicily
Frederick II
Roger I
Stupor Mundi
William II of Sicily
Roger II
Constance of Sicily
Emperor Henry VI
Federico II di Svevia
Peter II of Sicily
Arab Norman
Valle dei Templi
vending machine
World Heritage Site
Friedrich II
William I of Sicily

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Agrigento - Valle dei Templi

Agrigento - Valle dei Templi
Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, has a long history, that starts around 8000 BC, but later there were Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek and Roman periods. After the Roman Empire had fallen apart the Vandals tried to take over the island but failed. Finally, the Ostrogoths took possession.

Mid of the 6th century Sicily was conquered by troops of the Byzantine Empire. After the advent of Islam, Sicily got attacked by the Arab forces. Raids seeking loot continued until the mid-8th century.

A Muslim army was sent to the island in 827 but met with much resistance. So it took a century to conquer it and even later revolts constantly occurred

In 1038 the Byzantines invaded the island supported by Norman mercenaries, led by Roger. In 1072, after the siege of Palermo, most of Sicily was under Norman control. Roger´s son Roger II raised the status +of the island to a kingdom in 1130. During this period, the Kingdom of Sicily was prosperous and powerful,

The court of Roger II became melting out of culture from Europe and the Middle East. This attracted scholars, scientists, artists, and artisans. Muslims, Jews, Greeks, Lombards, and Normans cooperated and created some extraordinary buildings.

In 1186 the last descendant of Roger, Constance of Sicily married Emperor Henry VI, the second son of Barbarossa. So the crown of Sicily was passed on to the Hohenstaufen Dynasty. Frederick II, the only son of Constance, was crowned King of Sicily at the age of four in 1198. He became "Stupor Mundi", one of the greatest and most cultured men of the Middle Ages.


The "Valle dei Templi", located on a ridge, just south of Agrigento, is where the Greek had founded the polis "Akragas" in 532 BC. It developed into one of the most important ancient Greek cities in Sicily. This importance is still visible in a number of monumental temples, built in the 5th century BC along the southern wall of the city.

Over centuries most buildings decayed and were often used as a quarry. Excavation and restoration began mid of the 18th century when general interest in Greek antiquity arouse. So the ancient sites were attracting attention - and visitors.

Today thousands of visitors pass the gates to the Valle dei Templi every day. For the refreshments, a little kiosque is installed equipped with vending machines.


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