Cathedral of Siracusa

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.

Il Duomo di Siracusa
The Baroque facade was built after the earthquake of 1693.

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.

Duomo di Siracusa
The Duomo, the cathedral, of Siracusa.
Muro laterale del Duomo di Siracusa.
The side wall. The Doric columns of the ancient greek temple of Athena are well visible.

Let’s go inside the cathedral.

Colonne doriche del Duomo di Siracusa.
The Doric columns of the ancient greek temple of Athena are part of the church structure.
Madonna con Bambino nel Duomo di Siracusa.
A Madonna and Child emerges among the Greek columns.

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