The Neapolis

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

According to the testimony of the historian Diodorus Siculus, the altar was erected by Hiero II near the theatre and was as long as an Olympic stadium, as shown by the rocky basement, as large as half a football pitch, which can still be seen today.
Resti ara IeroneOn the north and south sides, there were two symmetrical entrances with ramps that led to an upper platform. The entrance to the north ramp was flanked by two telamons .
I telamoniAnimals to be sacrificed were led up the ramps while the worshippers walked up one side and down the other after offering their tribute to the deity. West of the altar there was a large rectangular square surrounded on three sides by a portico. In the centre of the square there was a basin with a base in the middle, perhaps intended to hold a statue.
Archaeologists have speculated that this altar was dedicated to Zeus Eleutherios. As Diodorus Siculus wrote, after the expulsion in 466 BC of the last of the tyrants, Thrasybulus, the Syracusans erected a colossal statue dedicated to Zeus, in whose honour the feast of the Eleutheria was celebrated, linked to the city’s liberation from its enemies.

The Jews, a wandering people

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

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

Neapolis from past to present

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The Venationes

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The Gladiator performances

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

Byzantine Pantalica

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Euryalus Fortress

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Culture of Pantalica

Temple of Apollo

Crypt of San Marciano

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Spanish fortification

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

Castello Maniace

The architecture of the Piazza

Where seas and civilisations meet

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The Senatorial Palace

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The Roman Amphitheatre