Ortigia

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Cathedral, in the heart of Ortygia, is emblematic of the city. It was built in the Byzantine era using the solid structure of the Greek temple of Athena.
As you can already guess from its unusual origin, the Cathedral is an architectural complex where each stone describes a different historical period. The façade of the cathedral, rebuilt in the 18th century after the earthquake, is the work of the architect Andrea Palma.

La facciata della cattedrale di Siracusa
Il Duomo di Siracusa è l’edificio principale della piazza, la sua facciata rappresenta un prezioso esempio di barocco siciliano. L’unicità di questa chiesa risiede nel fatto che per la sua costruzione, è stata riutilizzata e adeguata la struttura dell’antico tempio greco di Atena. Le colonne del tempio sono ancora oggi visibili sia all’interno che sulla facciata laterale sinistra. La facciata della cattedrale è costruita su due piani, detti “ordini”, suddivisi da grosse colonne: quattro nella parte superiore e sei nella parte inferiore. Al centro della facciata sono rappresentati lo stemma reale con l’aquila, simbolo di Carlo III di Borbone e lo stemma del vescovo Tommaso Marini. Nella parte superiore, una nicchia ospita una statua della Vergine Maria, a cui è dedicata la Chiesa. La facciata è preceduta da un’elegante gradinata composta da sette alzate. Ai lati delle scale sono presenti, sopra un basamento di circa 2 metri, due statue di marmo a grandezza naturale, che raffigurano gli apostoli Pietro e Paolo.

It is formed of two horizontal levels separated by a trabeation : the lower floor is marked by six mighty columns with Corinthian capitals ; while the upper level is divided by four columns that support the tympanum .
In the centre, the curved pediment houses the royal coat of arms with the eagle, the symbol of Charles III of Bourbon and the coat of arms of the Bishop Tommaso Marini.
Stemma Reale aquilaThe upper level of the façade houses, inside a niche, a limestone depiction of the Virgin Mary, to whom the church is dedicated.
Nicchia Vergine MariaOn the sides, next to the volutes with palm trees, the statues of St. Marcian, the first bishop of Syracuse and the patron saint St. Lucy by sculptor Ignazio Marabitti , dominate the façade.
At the top of the façade, three sculpted angels play together peacefully, pulling a flowery garland between them. The parvis of the Church is preceded by an elegant staircase, flanked by the marble statues of the apostles Peter and Paul.
San Paolo San Pietro

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

The Culture of Pantalica

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

Castello Maniace

The Euryalus Fortress

The Spanish fortification

Crypt of San Marciano

The catacombs of San Giovanni

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The cultural significance of tragedy

Byzantine Pantalica

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

Where seas and civilisations meet

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Jews, a wandering people

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The Roman Amphitheatre

Temple of Apollo

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

Neapolis from past to present

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The Senatorial Palace

The Gladiator performances

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Venationes

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

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

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The architecture of the Piazza