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 didn’t
hesitate to enchain and depose his dad to take his throne of King
of the Gods.
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 Saint’s 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.
phenomenon is connected to a thermal flux under the mount that
evaporates on contact with heat. Vapors rise to a temperature
of 40° 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.