Syracuse Vacation Travel Video Guide

Syracuse Vacation Travel Video Guide

the sea has always been of great importance to the city of Syracuse on Greek colonialists first arrived here by boat and settled in Sicily and thus laid the foundations for this region's future prosperity the attractive historic center of the old town is located on the island of ortygia whose buildings contain almost 2700 years of history today the townscape is for most parts dominated by magnificent baroque and late Renaissance buildings such as that of the beautiful Town Hall devastating earthquakes destroyed much of the Normand predecessor today's Cathedral since then the facade has been completely rebuilt in ancient times the Cathedral Square the Duomo contained a temple in the fifth century BC a sanctuary for Athena was built here in the course of the transformation of the temple into a christian basilica in the 6th century AD some sections of the Greek sanctuary were integrated with the church the architectural remains of the ancient Greeks have been preserved within the interior of the three nave Cathedral in addition they're also a Byzantine Norman and Baroque elements an historical variety of design that is unique in Sicily not far from the imposing Cathedral there is a small Church it's dedicated to the patron saint of the town Santa Lucia each December during various traditional ceremonies the patron saint is duly worshiped a celebration in the old island town of Ortiz year that highlights the people's deep religious belief the island is the historical center of the town and the settlement existed there in 734 BC prior to the arrival of the Greeks in the course of time siracusa gradually grew into a powerful military state when under the dictatorship of the tyrant Dionysius the first the town had a population of half a million that even surpassed that of Athens following a two years siege in 212 BC the Romans succeeded in conquering the metropolis much of its history lies beneath the ground the catacombs of the santa lucia district are the finest outside rome several dark corridors lead through various ancient christian burial places christianity prospered early in siracusa as sicily enjoyed a healthy trading relationship with both palestine and syria today there are only the ruins and splendid columns of the town's first Cathedral the date back to both the sixth century and Byzantine times throughout its history the basilica was often severely damaged by war and the great earthquake of 1693 soon after this powerful natural catastrophe the reconstruction of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista began but was never completed much of Syracuse's history can be seen close to the periphery of the town on top of a hill that the Greeks named temanite II the Teatro Greco is one of the most beautiful amphitheaters of ancient Greece at the beginning of the fifth century dramas and comedies were frequently performed here you it once accommodated up to 15,000 spectators numerous colorful legends abound of the nearby ear of dionysius the grotto is a wonder of acoustics even the most gentle whisper can be heard legend has it that the tyrant Dionysius used this phenomenon to eavesdrop on his prisoners it is likely that the amphitheater once a scene of bloody gladiatorial battle was built in the 1st century AD when this region was under Roman rule you the lower part of the auditorium was partly built into the rock below and has thus been preserved to the present day the enormous proportions of the ancient metropolis of Siragusa can now only be estimated with the help of the town's remaining walls and defenses today the work of the archaeologists continues with many more mysteries no doubt waiting to be revealed fortunately despite its dramatic past the town of Syracuse er has managed to preserve an important part of its fascinating history

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