Ortigia

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

Ortygia’s main square is like a sumptuous Baroque parlour and is the most important urban area of the historic centre.
In fact, it houses two fundamental buildings: the church-cathedral and the Senatorial Palace. The heart of the city offers a treasure far more precious than its elegant and refined appearance: an overlapping of cultures and civilisations that tell a timeless story. Antiquity, medieval architecture, Baroque and late Baroque structures intertwine in a union that expresses balance and homogeneity.
A reflection of countless peoples, this area has been inhabited since prehistoric times and was the most important sacred place for ancient Greek Ortygia.Piazza del DuomoThe square, quadrangular in shape, was used as a sacred place and an agora: the seat of the religious and political structures of the ancient Greek city. In the late Middle Ages, with the advent of Christianity, the ancient temple of Athena was transformed into a church-cathedral and the square, once a vast and free area, open to the sea and port, was enclosed by palaces, churches and convents that still stand today like spectacular backdrops.
The current layout of the square dates back to the period after the earthquake of 1693, when all the buildings and the façade of the Cathedral were rebuilt.
In the 18th century, Piazza del Duomo took on the aspect of a public space, where the representative buildings of civic and religious power converge alongside the residences of the city’s aristocracy.

The Senatorial Palace

The Gladiator performances

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Temple of Apollo

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

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

The Venationes

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The cultural significance of tragedy

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The Roman Amphitheatre

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

Where seas and civilisations meet

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

Neapolis from past to present

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The architecture of the Piazza

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

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

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The Spanish fortification

Crypt of San Marciano

The Jews, a wandering people

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

Byzantine Pantalica

Castello Maniace

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Euryalus Fortress

The Culture of Pantalica