We arrived at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Agrigento (the ancient Greek city of Akragas) and began our tour of these stunning Greek temples. The seven extant temples sit atop a ridge overlooking the sea. The temples date from approximately 470 BCE through 430 BCE and the oldest is the Temple of Hercules. Although the Greeks had not developed an arch, their temples were designed to maximize both function and aesthetic appeal. The three principle architectural styles in order of their increasing elaborateness are Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The columns were designed to appear taller than they actually are. The temples are surrounded on all four sides by fluted columns. The beautiful symmetry of the columns exists because the diameter of each column is 1/6 its height.

We all were stunned by the beauty of the Temple of Concord which is amongst the best-preserved temples in the world. It likely survived because the Christians turned it into a church in the 6th century, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The Byzantine Christians also used the ancient walls of the city as a necropolis and buried their dead in frescoed niches gouged out of the wall.