Segesta was one of the main cities of the Elimi, a people of peninsular culture and tradition that according to ancient tradition, came from Troy. The city, strongly Hellenized in appearance and culture, achieved a leading role among the Sicilian centers and in the Mediterranean basin, to the point of involving Athens and Carthage in its secular hostility with Selinunte.
Destroyed Selinunte thanks to the intervention Carthaginian in 408 aC, Segesta lived with alternate fortunes the following period, until it was conquered and destroyed by Agatocles of Syracuse (in 307 BC.), which imposed the name of Dikai City, City of Justice.
Later, resumed his name, he passed in the course of the first Punic war to the Romans who, by virtue of the common Trojan legendary origin, exempted it from tributes, endowed it with a vast territory and allowed it a new phase of prosperity.
Segesta was completely rescheduled on the model of the great micro-Asian cities, taking on a highly scenographic aspect. It has long been assumed that Segesta was abandoned after the vandal raids, but recent investigations have detected a late-ancient phase, an extended village of Muslim age, followed by a settlement Norman-Swabian, dominated by a castle at the top of Monte Barbaro.
Already famous for its two main monuments, the Doric temple and the theater, Segesta now has a new season of discoveries, due to scientific excavations aimed at restoring an overall image of the city.
The plant shows the area of the Archaeological park: the city occupied the top of the Monte Barbaro (two acropolis separated by a saddle), naturally defended by steep rock walls on the east and south sides, while the less protected side was provided in the classical age with a walled enclosure provided with monumental doors, replaced later (during the first age imperial) from a second line of walls to a higher level.
Outside the city walls, along the ancient access roads to the city, there are two important sacred places: the Doric temple (430-420 BC) and the Contrada Mango sanctuary (VI-V century BC). Outside the walls a Hellenistic necropolis was also identified. The town planning of Segesta is still under investigation: some probable roads are reported, the area of the agora and some houses. On the North Acropolis, where the theater is located, the most recent remains of Segesta are visible: the castle, the mosque and the church founded in 1442 on a multi-layered plot.