Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sept. 30, 2012 Segesta

The Doric Temple at Segesta 

A fully-intact Roman theater with a majestic view of distant mountains

On the day with 35 knots blow, we went to visit the Doric Temple and the Theater, the remains of the ancient city, Segesta.  According to legend, the town was founded by Trojan followers of Aeneas.  Set on the edge of a deep canyon, surrounded by unspoiled rolling green countryside, Segesta presents one of the most spectacular sights in Sicily.  Construction of the temple began between 426 and 416 BC, but due to constant conflict with Selinunte in the south, it was left unfinished-without the typical Doric fluting on the columns and without a roof, following the devastation of Selinunte by the Carthaginians in 409 BC.  Yet, it remains as one of the world’s most perfectly preserved temples.  It was said that, on windy days, its 36 giant columns could act like an organ, producing mysterious notes.  On this particular day, ‘the maestro was not available to conduct’.  Perhaps 35 knots still not considered as windy.  However, when the late afternoon sun set onto the stones and turned the temple into glowing gold, and along with the scent of wild flowers and fennel, it felt magical. And lying across from the temple, close to the summit of Monte Barbaro, the ruins of the ancient theatre (able to accommodate up to 3,200 spectators) and the glorious views from here are the perfect backdrop for summer concerts which only plays in odd-numbered years.  


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