Holding Court in Siracusa

The Duomo of Siracusa represents layers of history. The foundation–both base and walls of the structure–is an ancient, Doric-style Temple of Athena, built in the 5th century BCE (Once inside, you can easily see the columns of the Greek temple!). During the Byzantine age in the 7th century CE, the temple was converted into a Christian basilica, and its front became its back.

After being sacked by the Arab conquerors in 878 and its Norman-era steeple and stone roof collapsing with the historically powerful earthquake of 1693, the current baroque-style cathedral, dedicated to the Navtività di Maria Santissima, was constructed at the beginning of the 18th century. The Duomo holds court on the Piazza del Duomo of Ortigia, a site I think to be one of Italy’s most breathtaking public spaces.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. What inspiring architecture – and history.

    1. After seeing it many times, I didn’t know some of the history; and specifically, how the history of the city is so intertwined with the history of this building! Truly, if walls could talk, we would learn so much!

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