Ortigia

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia was originally a monastery.
The building was entirely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 and later rebuilt at the behest of the Mother Abbess of the Cistercian order (A monastic order following the Rule of St. Benedict).
The Church and the Cistercian convent dedicated to St. Lucia had an important role in the city’s worship, both for their location in the heart of Ortygia, and for the feast of St. Lucia in May , instituted to commemorate the patron saint’s miraculous intervention during the famine of 1646, when she led two ships loaded with grain into the port, putting an end to the Syracusans’ long hunger. The façade, facing the square, is made of light-coloured limestone and consists of two superimposed levels separated by a trabeation and a wrought iron balcony with a balustrade with curved balusters.
La Chiesa di S. Lucia alla Badia The lower level has a sumptuous Baroque portal flanked by Solomonic columns  supporting the pediment, decorated with symbols of the Saint’s martyrdom. On the two side sections, enclosed within cornices, stand the coats of arms of the kings of Spain. The upper level, enriched by pilaster strips in pseudo-Corinthian style, is inspired by Rococo.
The apse behind the main altar has on temporary display the large painting of the “ Burial of St. Lucia ” painted in 1608 by Caravaggio during his stay in Syracuse.

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Gladiator performances

Neapolis from past to present

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Spanish fortification

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

The Euryalus Fortress

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The cultural significance of tragedy

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

The Venationes

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Jews, a wandering people

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The Culture of Pantalica

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Byzantine Pantalica

The Roman Amphitheatre

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Senatorial Palace

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The functions of Castello Maniace

The architecture of the Piazza

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

Castello Maniace

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Crypt of San Marciano

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

Temple of Apollo