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THE WONDERFUL KOLYMBETHRA GARDEN IN AGRIGENTO

CHIAMATA DAGLI ANTICHI GRECI LA “PISCINA DEGLI DEI”, SI RACCONTA CHE LA KOLYMBETHRA FOSSE UNA GRANDE VASCA-VIVAIO CONTENENTE UNA RICERCATA VEGETAZIONE E UNA VARIEGATA FAUNA ACQUATICA, AL CUI INTERNO SI GETTAVANO LE ACQUE DEGLI ACQUEDOTTI RISIEDENTI NEL GIARDINO.

CALLED BY THE ANCIENT GREEKS THE "POOL OF GODS", IT IS SAID THAT KOLYMBETHRA WAS A LARGE TUB-NURSERY CONTAINING SOPHISTICATED VEGETATION AND A LARGE VARIETY OF AQUATIC FAUNA, INSIDE WHICH THE WATERS OF THE GARDEN’S AQUEDUCTS WERE FLOWING. THE GARDEN WAS INITIALLY A RELAXING STOP FOR THE AKRAGANTINES TYRANTS AND THEN BECAME A MEETING POINT FOR THE INHABITANTS OF THE ANCIENT CITY: WOMEN WENT THERE TO WASH CLOTHES AND PEOPLE USED TO COOL DOWN IN FRESH WATER OF THE CLEAR POOLAFTER MORE THAN A CENTURY THE POOL WAS COVERED WITH LAND AND TRANSFORMED INTO A GARDEN. AFTER YEARS OF ABANDONMENT, THE FIVE ACRES OF THE KOLYMBETHRA TODAY OFFER A REMARKABLE VARIETY OF TREES AND PLANTS TYPICAL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SCRUB LIKE MYRTLE, LENTISCUS, TEREBINTH, FILLIREA, EUPHORBIA AND BROOM: THIS RESULT WAS POSSIBLE THANKS TO THE CARE OF FAI (FONDO AMBIENTE ITALIANO – ITALIAN ENVIRONMENT FUND). A CITRUS GARDEN STRETCHES IN THE FLATLAND OF THE VALLEY FLOOR WITH ANCIENT VARIETIES OF LEMONS, MANDARINS AND ORANGES, AND IT IS IRRIGATED ACCORDING TO ARABIAN TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES. IN THE LAND NOT TOUCHED BY WATER, MULBERRIES, CAROBS, FIGS, ALMOND TREES AND GIGANTIC "SARACENS" OLIVE TREES ARE BORN.

AS IT IS WRITTEN ON FAI’S WEBSITE: "KOLYMBETHRA REPRESENTS, BY ITS PERCEPTIVE, ENVIRONMENTAL AND PRODUCTIVE FEATURES, THE MOST EXCELLENT LANDSCAPE OF SICILIAN ARBORICULTURE, OR THE IRRIGATED ONE OF CITRUS FRUITS CULTIVATION. IN SICILY, CITRUS PLANTS ARE CALLED "GARDENS" TO EMPHASIZE THEIR BEAUTY, AS WELL AS THE PRODUCTIVE PURPOSE. THE SMELL OF THE ZAGARA (ORANGE BLOSSOMS) THUS ASSUMES THE SENSE OF A TREE PRESENCE THAT IS NEVER LINKED TO PRODUCTION ONLY BUT ALSO TO PLEASURE. ACCORDING TO LOCAL FARMERS'WORDS, UNTIL THE LAST DECADES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY KOLYMBETHRA WAS CULTIVATED AS A CITRUS AND VEGETABLE GARDEN AND MAINTAINED THE APPEARANCE OF A WONDERFUL GARDEN FULL OF LEMONS AND ORANGES BUT ALSO RICH IN ALMONDS, OLIVE TREES, MULBERRIES, POMEGRANATES AND PRICKLY PEARS.

HERE IS ANOTHER AUTHENTIC WONDER OF THE VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES, NOT ONLY ARCHAEOLOGICAL BUT ALSO BOTANICAL AND LANDSCAPING TREASURE. HAVE A GOOD STAY!
KOLYMBETHRA GARDENVALLE DEI TEMPLI (AGRIGENTO) TEL. 335 1229042 - FAX 0922 416787

E-MAIL: FAIKOLYMBETHRA@FONDOAMBIENTE.IT VISITFAI.IT/GIARDINODELLAKOLYMBETHRA
OPENING HOURS:FROM MONDAY TO SUNDAY 10AM-6PM FROM APRIL TO JUNE, 10AM-7PM FROM JULY TO SEPTEMBER, 10AM-5PM
FROM OCTOBER TO MARCH 10.00 – 17.00 CLOSED FROM 7 JANUARY TO 31 JANUARY.
IMMAGINE: FONDOAMBIENTE.IT

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