650-628 B.C. The colonists of Megara Hyblea (what is now Augusta, just a few kilometres away from Syracuse) found the colony of Selinute, choosing “Selinòn”, which refers to a wild form of parsley that grows in great abundance along the banks and in the valleys of the River Modione which crosses the region, as its name.
The Archaeological Park
The Archaeological Park offers a walk among eight wonderful temples, some in excellent states of conservation, and some have been destroyed by conflicts with the nearby Segesta and worn down by time.
They were all built in a Doric style, the most ancient Greek style. You can still find sanctuaries, necropolises, and the caves of Cusa there. In total, the Park is home to 8 temples situated across 4 different zones.
The acropolis to the south
This is the richest part of the Park, surrounded by powerful walls, overlooking the sea. The area has a fantastic defensive quality and an advanced urban structure.
On the acropolis are 5 of the 8 temples that make up the Park. Amongst these is the one dedicated to Apollo. Richly adorned, it was one of the oldest and largest in the whole Park.
The Manuzza hill to the north
This is the fertile area of land where the first colonisers chose to settle down. They developed the area here, and it wasn’t until the 4 th century (by this point, Selinute’s golden age was already over) when the inhabitants moved to the acropolis.
The eastern hill
Here you will find the three temples, one of which was perhaps dedicated to Apollo, and deserves particular attention. 110m long and 50m high, these dimensions make it not only the largest in the city, but also one of the largest in the world as it was known then.
It was built on the western hill, and is dedicated to the goddess Malòphoros (bringer of pomegranate), one of the many local expressions to represent Mother Earth. It was used for a very length period of time, from the 7th century right up to the city’s last berth of life, during which new Punic divinities were consecrated.
The area is vast – it is possibly to travel around it all on foot, but it would take a lot of time. We therefore suggest hiring small electric cars, which have special authorisation to travel within the Park. Alternatively, choose an itinerary and visit just parts of the whole.
There are various itineraries to choose from: tracks vary from 400m (just to visit the temples on the eastern hill) to 6km to visit the temples on the eastern hill, the Malophoros acropolis and the Manuzza hill. Journey times vary from 45 minutes to more than 4 hours. Gli itinerari sono doversi: prevedono percorsi con lunghezze che vanno dai Even staying on the shortest track will enable you to explore at least three temples.