27 May 1999


Upon arriving at Segesta we took a shuttle bus up to the ruins of the town. Excavation there continues to unearth more ruins, but the most prominent structure is the theatre. The upper section was dismantled for use in other structures, which usually happened to buildings that were no longer used.


After a trip to the gift shop and some gelato, we walked up the hill to the temple. This temple is quite unique, not only because of how well-preserved it is. This temple was never completed because it was never intended to be used as a temple. The residents of Segesta were trying to establish diplomatic relations with Athens, so they hired the people who designed the Parthenon to build them a Greek temple. As shown below, the temple looks impressive from a distance, and that was how it was designed to look to visiting representatives from Athens. The temple has proven to be quite resistant to earthquakes for two reasons. The first is in the design - the entire temple rests on a sheet of lead that allows the temple to shift in an earthquake. The second is in the geography - the temple is built on soft rock that absorbs the force of earthquakes. Although never used by the Greeks, the temple was later used by various other religions and cults.


Above: The surrounding countryside, the temple as seen from the theatre and the parking lot, and the location of the river that used to run next to Segesta. After Segesta we headed for Erice.

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