City-planning


The streets layout of the Greco-Roman city

The city of Akragas, starting probably from the middle of the 6th century. B. C. was laid out on a grid sytem “per strigas” (or regular city blocks), later traced in Roman times.

The settlement area laid between the acropolis, located at the highest point of the city, today’s Rupe Atenea (Athena Rock), to the north, and the hill of the temples, to the south towards the sea- It was spread out on five terraces sloping down towards the valley. The archaeological digs, supported by aerial photography, show six NE-SW plateiai (main avenues), about 7 m wide (the second and fourth are slightly wider), cut at right angles by about thirty NW-SE stenopoi (secondary streets), 5.5 m wide, thus creating almost 35 m wide-city blocks.

The main and most scenic avenue, 12 m wide, was the one leading from gate II or Gela gate to the area of ​​the sanctuary of Zeus, one of the three largest religious structures in the Greek world. This temple started in 480 B:C helps to date the streets layout precisely as it is perfectly inserted in it.

Text © Copyright Corrado Capraro