I think the Mediterranean Sea unites rather than divides. This becomes clear when reading the history of Sicily. On this island there was, for almost three millennia, a great coming and going of Peoples and rulers from anywhere in the Mediterranean.
The “Duomo”, the Cathedral, of Siracusa is the tangible proof of this mixture of styles and cultures. In this church, Christian statues are placed between the columns of the ancient greek temple.
Here are some historical notes about this site:
- Fifth century BC, the Greeks of Siracusa built a temple in honor of the goddess Athena.
- With the Roman occupation, the temple was devoted to the goddess Minerva.
- In the seventh century the Byzantines rulers turned it into a Christian church.
- During the Arab occupation, IX and X century, was possibly transformed into a mosque.
- Eleventh century, the Normans expel the Arabs from Sicily and the site returns to be a Christian church. After the earthquake of 1693 the façade was rebuilt in Baroque style.
Let’s go inside the cathedral.