Selinunte, Sicily; an important historical city

Photo of Selinunte

Visit Selinunte

Selinunte is situated on the southern coast of western Sicily, south-east of Mazaro-de-Vallo.

More than 2500 years ago Selinus (as Selinunte was then known) was one of the most important cities in Ancient Greece. This role continued until 409 BC when Hannibal and the carthaginians arrived and pretty much destroyed the entire city.

It was never to refind its former glory, despite the partial rebuilding of the town by Hermocrates, but there are enough remnants and ruins to tempt the visitor - Selinunte is now one of the most important ancient historical sites in Sicily, perhaps Italy.

The Greeks liked their temples - and there are eight of them clearly identifiable to visit at Selinunte. Not in great condition for the large part, and only one of those with standing columns has in part been reconstructed, but the sheer number of temples here ensures the importance of the site.

Five of the temples are based in the ancient acroplis, the others further down. The Temple of Hera, now known less impressively as Temple E, is the one that has had its columns re-erected.

Selinunte, Italy - temple F

Although the others have not been re-erected, it is still fascinating to visit this part of Sicily to see the fallen columns of these other ancient temples, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus, at one stage one of the very largest temples in the whole of Ancient Greece. Unusually the temple also had massive statues supporting the roof, which can also be seen now lying broken on the floor.

There is also a museum at Selinunte where you can see some of the many artefacts uncovered at the site.

See also:

Map of Selinunte & places nearby

Selected places to visit in or near Selinunte, Sardinia