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.

Where seas and civilisations meet

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

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

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The Euryalus Fortress

The Culture of Pantalica

Temple of Apollo

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Gladiator performances

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

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

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Byzantine Pantalica

The Jews, a wandering people

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

Neapolis from past to present

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The architecture of the Piazza

The Venationes

The Roman Amphitheatre

Crypt of San Marciano

The Spanish fortification

The Senatorial Palace

Castello Maniace

The catacombs of San Giovanni