The system of fortifications from land to sea

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

Dionysius I, or Dionysius the Elder, was an eclectic and controversial character known for his artistic and philosophical streak and his cruel and bloody temperament. He was tyrant of Syracuse, ruling from 405 to 367 BC and was an emblematic figure of ancient Sicily thanks to his fierce expansionist politics. In this period Syracuse stood out for its rich cultural turmoil: since Dionysius was in fact a man of great culture and a patron, his court hosted personalities such as Plato , Philoxenus and Aristippus of Cyrene and welcomed many artisans and intellectuals.
Ortygia became his stronghold and for this reason had to be protected: mindful of previous war experiences, Dionysius surrounded the area with defensive fortifications and had the famous Euryalus Fortress built. The land of Syracuse had to become impregnable at all costs.
At the same time, the tyrant is remembered today as an undisputed example of cruelty, as shown by many anecdotes about his personality in the works of Cicero and Plutarch.

Temple of Apollo

Castello Maniace

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Venationes

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

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

Neapolis from past to present

The Senatorial Palace

Where seas and civilisations meet

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The Roman Amphitheatre

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Culture of Pantalica

The architecture of the Piazza

Byzantine Pantalica

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Gladiator performances

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Spanish fortification

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

Crypt of San Marciano

The catacombs of San Giovanni

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

The Euryalus Fortress

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The Jews, a wandering people

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius