MONTE KRONIO

 

The Kronion Mount, a peak rising to 386 metres amidst a desert area is closesly associated with Khronos (Cronus to Romans), the God of Time, born of Gea, Goddess of the Earth, and Uranus, God of the sky and father of Zeus, who didnít hesitate to enchain and depose his dad to take his throne of King of the Gods.

 

THE SLOPE TO THE MOUNT

On top of the mount a dramatic view extends over the Sciacca plain and the mountain ranges inland. Here lies the Santuario di San Calogero, run by the Franciscan friars. Hot springs within several natural caves have contributed to rendering the place a renowned tourism goal. Among these, one is particularly worth-mentioning, commonly known as the Stufe di San Calogero.

The stufe of Saint Calogero Abbot were inhabited or used as worshipping places up to the Copper Age, then abandoned around 2000 BC when, following a telluric movement, vapours emanating from within the caves forced people to migrate elsewhere.

Some centuries later, attracted by these mysterious phenomenons, people began to frequent the place again. Relics of vases and statues (now conserved at the Archaeological Museum of Agrigento) were recovered from the caves. The caves derive their name from a monk who realized the therapeutic properties of the vapors. He equipped the place with seats and started to use the vapors to cure the sick. The Antro of Dedalo and the Grotta degli Animali are the largest caves. Nearby, is the Grotta del Santo, believed to have been the Saintís home; a majolica icon above the altar represents him. The caves are now incorporated into a modern spa complex called the Grande Albergo delle Stufe.

The phenomenon is connected to a thermal flux under the mount that evaporates on contact with heat. Vapors rise to a temperature of 40į C. They have a therapeutic value in treating rheumatic, skin and gynaecological diseases. Next to the stufe is a small Antiquarium, collecting relics recovered from the site.