(Il Teatro Greco)
Theatre stands on the top of the hill and is the most distinguished
monument in the archaeologic site of Akrai. Its construction dates
back to the time of Hieron II. The theatre is relatively small but
was enough for most of population (7.000 - 10.000 inhabitants). The
theatre is made up of eight tiers, nine cuneus and twelve rows of
seating, for a total of 700 places. It differs from other Greek
theatres because it has not a semicircle upper angular development
and it was not out of rock. Another particularity, which makes the
Akrai theatre unique, is the semicircular orchestra's shape, which
makes the scenes seem incredibly advanced compared to other theatres
found in some colonies.
The stage is
disfigured by a mill of the Byzantine age and by eight silos in
which wheat was stored.
Next to the
theatre we can admire the Bouleuterion, a small sized building. It
was the town senate (BoulŤ).
particular construction can be found near the boundary walls which
enclosed the Bouleuterion. It is a circular building thought by most
to be thermal baths from the Roman era and converted as baptistery
in the Byzantine era.
WALLS AND THE
(Mura di cinta e strada
The Akrai walls
date back to between the IV and the second half of the II century
B.C., but it is impossible to establish an exact date.
have uncovered a main road, fitted with a splendid and well
preserved lava paving, that is 250 metres long and 4 metres wide
between Syracuse gateway and Selinunte gateway.
have also revealed walls of houses along the road and intersections
of the road with side streets called "stenopoi".
The city road
system was built in two stages, one during the Hellenistic era and
the other in advanced Roman era.
(Tempio di Afrodite)
the Greek Theatre, it was made up of six Doric columns at the front
and thirteen to the sides for a total of 18.30 metres by 39.50
thanks to the finding of an ancient inscription which allowed
archaeologists to ascertain that there were three temples in Akrai:
the Aphrodision, the Artemision and the Koreion.
They were used
as stone caves to draw the material needed for building homes and
monuments in ancient Akrai. Later they were used as necropoli
It is of
elliptical shape and it was accessed through a door situated under
area numerous hypogeums, arcosolium burial grounds and baldacchino
style tombs from Christian times can be found.
It is a L shape
and it is characterised by a series of votive niches containing "pinakes"
(tables or painted votives), tombs and byzantine's houses. There are
extremely sophisticated tombs with rich baldacchinos.
is a descriptive bas-relief (dated around the first half of the I
century B.C.) that shows a banquet of heroes with a figure of a
Roman warrior and a propitiatory or thanksgiving sacrifice. The
bas-relief shows signs of complete uniqueness for the mixture of
consolidated Greek and Roman models.
located in front of the feral temples. The site hosts 12 large
reliefs, ten of which represent a seated woman, while the other two
include more complicated scenes with many figures. It is the
greatest sanctuary to date uncovered, dedicated to the cult of the
oriental goddess of fertility Cibeles. This cult, coming from
Phrygia, was initially introduced in Greece and then in Rome with
the name Magna Mater or Ceres.
In 1787 the
French painter Jean HouŽl made three interesting paintings of these
the "Santoni", the quarry walls are made of hundreds of small
grooves where votive offerings were placed for the dead, venerated
by the living to a level of heroes as can be deduced from the "pinakes"
(paintings) or from the inscriptions.
(Necropoli della Pinita)
important monument in the prehistoric life of Palazzolo is located
in a pinewood in front of the scenic road "Panoramica". It is made
up of fifty-four small artificial grottoes and each tomb is oval