An archaeological site of extraordinary cultural value, Eraclea Minoa matches the charm of the myth of the natural beauty of southern Sicily. The long wild beach, which is dominated by the ruins of the Greek era, is a very popular place during the summer months.
The surrounding landscape is made even more charming by the white cliffs that overlook the sea, the pine trees, and the crystal clear sea water, making Eraclea Minoa a place of great interest in southern Sicily.
The archaeological site of Eraclea Minoa
The archaeological site of Eraclea Minoa has a particularly suggestive position on the mount of Capobianco, where you can enjoy a most beautiful view. The excavation work began in the early tenth century and continued in alternating phases, have brought to light many important remains of the classical period.
At its entrance, is organizedasmall museum withpottery, figurines, and otherobjects foundduring theexcavations.
The walls, which once ran for more than 6 kilometers, give an idea of the size that Eraclea Minoa assumed during its years of greatest development.
The theater was built around 400 BC, though smaller compared to other similar examples present in Sicily. It is, in larger part, excavated into the rock with the sea in the background as a backdrop to the comedies and tragedies that even today, thanks to the excellent state of its preservation, are performed during the summer.
Above the theater, two houses of the 4th and 3rd century BC were found. Discreetly maintained over the course of the centuries, there are partly visible decorations on the walls and the floors. Other dwellings, more recently constructed, maintain the structures original backdrop with rooms that opened into the central atrium, meant for channeling rainwater.
Historical Background of Eraclea Minoa
According to Greek myth the construction of the city was realized by Minos, king of Crete, who arrived here to punish Daedalus, guilty of having helped Ariadne and Theseus out of the labyrinth.
More likely, the city was founded by exiles from Selinunte around the sixth century BC and later by Spartan settlers. Given its location, between Akragras (now Agrigento) and Selinunte it was the long time cause of disputes and quarrels.
It leaped onto the chronicles during the Roman period thanks to the visit of Cicero, who went there in search of accusations against Verres, at that time governor of the city. Exactly from Cicero were derived the more historical sources about Eraclea Minoa of this period. The city was later abandoned for unknown reasons.