Hypogea and Catacombs: the Paleochristian era

Crypt of San Marciano

The crypt of San Marciano is located in a site that was, in the classical Greek period, first a stone quarry and later, in the late Hellenistic period, a potter’s workshop. The current elements of the crypt can be traced back to the 9th century, but these are clearly an integral redefinition of a much older structure, dating back to the 5th or 6th century, of which very little remains.
In 68 AD, according to Christian tradition, the underground church was broken open to house the remains of St. Marciano , the first bishop of Syracuse, sent by St. Peter in the year 39 AD to preach the Gospel and found the first Christian community in the Western world.
The crypt is now in the irregular form of a Byzantine church with a Greek cross plan and three apses with a hemispherical vault.
La Cripta di San Marciano Between the central and southern apse there is a space that houses an arcosolium tomb, an arch-shaped burial structure surmounted by a niche and carved into the wall, with faint ornamental designs: it was the sarcophagus that held the remains of St. Marcian. Of the ancient archaeological findings, some apses and the remains of the opus sectile flooring are visible today.
In Norman times four marble capitals were introduced at the corners of the nave, symbolising the Evangelists, and are set on stone pillars.
The rock face was also covered with and decorative motifs frescoes . Today the walls of the crypt have several layers of plaster where you can see the remnants of several superimposed paintings.

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Euryalus Fortress

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Spanish fortification

Crypt of San Marciano

Byzantine Pantalica

Temple of Apollo

The Senatorial Palace

The architecture of the Piazza

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The Cathedral of Syracuse

King Hyblon’s kingdom: Pantalica, between history and legend

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Jews, a wandering people

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Neapolis from past to present

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Gladiator performances

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Roman Syracuse, a military power thanks to the genius of Archimedes

The Venationes

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

Castello Maniace

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Culture of Pantalica

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port