Agrigento: The Temple of Concordia

3d model and reconstruction

Agrigento: The Temple of Concordia

The temple is of the Doric order and can be dated to around 440-430 BC. The four steps krepidoma measures at the stylobate 39. 44 x 16.91 m. The peristyle columns (6×13), which are narrower in the upper part of the shaft, are characterised by twenty flutes and by harmonious entasis. They support an epistyle which is surmounted by a Doric frieze of triglyphs and metopes, over which there is a cornice with mutules. The tympana are very well preserved and the degree to which the pediments have been preserved is almost unique in Sicily. The entablature, composed by an epistyle, Doric frieze and a horizontal cornice (geison), is similarly well preserved. The temple is equipped with a cella (28.36 x 9.44 m.), accessible via a step, a pronaos and an opisthodomus, both distyle in antis.  The staircases which led to the roof are still visible. On the top of the cella walls and in the blocks of the entablature of the peristyle it is possible to recognize the cut groves into which the wooden roof timbers were inserted.  A stucco coating was applied to both the interior and exterior of the temple. The drip board was decorated with lion-head shaped water spouts decorated and the roof was covered with marble tiles. Antefixes, as well as polychrome palmettes, inserted into an architectural design rich in motives as well as in colours characterized this building which, even with its sumptuous decoration, maintained a sober elegance. Although it is almost impossible to reconstruct the two pediments there can be no doubt that a temple of such a great architectural design must have had either a painted or a plaster decoration in the triangles of the pediments.

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Short history of

Agrigento: The Temple of Concordia

The naming of this ancient temple is due to the discovery of a later Latin inscription of the Imperial period, which was found in the surrounding area and mistakenly associated with the monument, which carries a dedication to the Concordia of the inhabitants of Akragas.

The temple is in an excellent state of preservation thanks to the fact that, at the end of the 6th c. AD, it was transformed into a Christian Basilica on the initiative of bishop Gregory of Girgenti, who dedicated it to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. This dual dedication has led many scholars to believe that, originally, the temple could have been dedicated to those famous twins of Greek Mythology, the Dioskouroi.