The Valley of the Temples of Agrigento is one of my favorite sites in Sicily, if not all of Italy.
Pictured below is the Temple of Concordia, a place holder name as the true name has been lost to us in history.
It is a classical Greek temple of the Doric order, in fact, the best preserved Doric temple from the entire ancient Greek world. It was completed in the middle of the 4th century BC.
In it's 2,500 years it has withstood storms, earthquakes, wars, bombings and many times of uncertainty. But it's truth has reigned through it all. It shows the height of ancient architecture, and in many ways, architecture today. The Romans would try to copy what the Greeks discovered, though they added their own modifications to the original. During the Renaissance, architects would relearn the ancient proportions that the Greeks had not only calculated, but perfected.
The Greeks discovered a beautiful harmony that runs through and influences all things: the Golden Ratio.
Classical Greek buildings are harmonious to they eye in the same way music is to the ear. If a chord on a guitar or piano is pleasing, it is within the correct ratio. If a building is pleasing to the eye, it is harmonious.
Our word for style does not directly translate to Greek: "stilos" actually means column. The Greeks used the work rythmos, or rhythmn, to convey our English meaning of style. So they would say a building 'follows the Doric rhythmn.'
Our guide Giovanna has a wonderful line she always says when we stand in front of this temple to explain this concept:
"Architecture is solid music. Music is liquid architecture."