Ancient Selinunte - Sicily

Selinunte is located on Sicilian coast close the Castelvetrano city between Marsala and Sciacca. Beware of city traffic: in a big city such as Palermo and Catania it is best to park the car and explore city by bus on a foot or by bicycle.

Greek temples in Sicily - Selinunte

Where is Selinunte - Sicily

The sights of beautiful area of Trapani, with its vineyards and archeological site Selinunte is famous all over the world. The easiest way on your Sicily holidays to discover this part of Sicily is your own car or car hire.

There is no better way to enjoy holiday trips touring by car. Car rental is available at major airports and in cities and larger towns. Most companies do not charge a drop-off fee if you remain on the island, so you can pick a car up in Palermo and drop it off in Catania for no extra charge. Several private companies rent cars on the offshore islands.

Beach of Selinunte - Sicily


The ruins of Ancient Selinunte

(Selinus), once a large settlement at the westernmost reaches of Magna Graecia, loom high on a promontory above the sparkling Mediterranean. Now one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe, it boasts one of the largest Greek temples in the world. Selinunte was founded in 628 BC and enjoyed centuries of prosperity before being reduced to rubble by the Carthaginians during the First Punic War. The city was later totally abandoned, but its solid yet graceful Doric temples stand out against the bright blue sky, offering a glimpse of its former grandeur.

Selinunte ruins SicilyThe fortifications of Selinus

The walls of the great archaic - classical Selinus surrounded the large area of the city which extended over the hills and their cliffs. The walls ran from the low lying harbour basins, along the valleys of the Cotone and the Modione (Selinus). The wall, which was about 4,50 m thick and possibly had few towers, thus surrounded an area of about 100 hectars. Today´s visible walls on the southern hill in the city were, without exception, only constructed after the catastrophe of 409 B.C in order to sourround a limited and easily defensible sector of the old city.In the areas outside this wall, the ruins were systematically demolished, to free a glacis, and the building material of the old ruins was used to build the new walls which in fact consisted exclusively of old building material. In the different phases of the building of the walls can be seen the development of the art of fortification constructin in the span of the remaining one and a half centuries of the life of Selinus

Selinunte temple - ruins SicilyPhase one (probably from Hermocrates in 408 B.C). Simple surrounding wall, erected in a hurry, using old building materials and older buildings like the stepped retaining walls of the terrace of the temples and the walls of the classical houses.

Phase two (begining of the 4th century BC, presumably when Dionysius I returned)
Strengthening of the north wall, by reinforcing it and building two rectangular towers on each side; construction of two towers on the west wall. Phase three (end of the 4th century probably under Agathocles in 307/6 BC); Construction of completely new defense system that was placed in front of the the old walls, following a new concept of offensive defense.