Segesta, Sicily; with one of the best preserved Doric temples in Sicily

Photo of Segesta

Visit Segesta

Segesta is situated in western Sicily about 25 kilometres east of Trapani.

There was once a town stood in this location, and the heart of the Elymian nation (see below).

Now hardly a trace of the original town remains - and what there is has mostly not yet been unearthed.

What Segesta does have is one of the most impressive temples to be found on Sicily - by virtue of both its size and its location.

Work started on building the temple at Segesta around 420 BC, but came to a halt following the sacking of Selinunte to the south in 409 BC (by the carthaginians under Hannibal). So unlike most temples, which are in ruins because of later destruction or the ravages of time, the one at Segesta was never completed in the first place.

This adds to the enduring appeal of the temple, isolated as it is on a quiet hillside, fitting perfectly in the landscape, and in better condition than than many 'once intact' temples.

Elymians

The Elymians were said to be the descendants of the Trojans who landed in Sicily. Little is known of them or their history, but they seem to have lived as a nation at various times aligned with Greece, Carthage, and later the Romans, eventually being absorbed into he Roman Empire after this part of Italy was taken from the Greeks in the First Punic War.

See also:

Map of Segesta & places nearby

Selected places to visit in or near Segesta, Sardinia