Segesta – Sicily

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Segesta lies 30 kilometres from Trapani, south of the railway and the highway A29 which from the inland goes to Palermo. From Trapani it can be easily reached by bus, while arriving from Palermo it is better to take the car. Like other sites in Sicily, Segesta lies on an extremely suggestive position.
Founded by the Elimi in the XII century b.C., it was later colonised by the Greek, and has always been considered as the rival of Selinunte.

The temple is one of the most perfect examples of Doric architecture, dating back to the period of the alliance with Athens (424 b.C.). The temple has a simple and elegant structure, although it remained unaccomplished. The construction works were interrupted in 416 b.C, when a fight with Selinunte burst out. The history of Segesta is one of alliances with the Greek first, seeking protection from the rival Selinunte, and the Carthaginians after, who destroyed Imera, Agrigento and Gela. Finally Segesta passed under the Roman empire, enjoying a short period of peace and prosperity before being destroyed by the Vandals. The temple and some ruins of the Hellenistic period are what is left today of its long history.

Behind the theatre the digging works have brought back to light the ancient foundations of a mosque and some houses in Arab style. There are also ruins of a late medieval church. A festival with concerts and classical performances is staged every year in this magnificent natural location.

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