/ / Cathedral: photos, description Duomo di Siracusa)

Cathedral: photos, description Duomo di Siracusa)

The Cathedral is a bright pearl of one of the most beautiful areas of Syracuse. Here you will learn the peculiarities of the Church architecture of Italy - in the various building elements are intertwined characteristic of the architecture features that can be found in every town of the Peninsula from Trento to Taranto.

Most likely, the Cathedral was built on the site of the former temple, which sent their cults of ancient siculi traces of their dwellings can be seen along via Minerva and in the courtyard of the nearby Archbishop's Palace. In 480 BC, the Greek settlers erected a Doric temple in honor of the goddess Athena for help in the battle with the Carthaginians. Ten of the once existing 36 columns are visible today, and the wall of the left nave of the Cathedral. A monolithic boulder that was part of the temple architrave is now part of the altar in the presbytery.

This Doric temple was one of the richest in the whole of Magna Graecia, and it certainly means that he was repeatedly subjected to looting. Particularly severe damage was caused to the temple in the 1st century BC, the Roman praetor Gaius Verres Licinius in retaliation for charges of corruption (I must say, fair). Among the destroyed items - the first portraits of the rulers of Sicily.

It is not known when the ruins of an ancient Greek temple became a Christian Church. In the year 640, on the initiative of Bishop Zosima, it became known as the Cathedral of Syracuse. Bishop has significantly reconstructed the building, expanding it and, unfortunately, destroying virtually all traces of the old buildings. Preserved only in the Byzantine arches and hemispherical apse at the end of the North side of the chapel and magnificent marble floor. In the next few centuries, the Cathedral again became a repository of priceless works of art. When in the middle of the 9th century Sicily was invaded by Arabs, they have taken away more than 5 thousand pounds of gold and 10 thousand pounds of silver. And then looted the Cathedral suffered the most terrible humiliation he was turned into a mosque for a century.

But, like many other Sicilian jewels, the Church was rescued by the Normans, who once again brought her back into the fold of Christianity and erected in the Central nave reinforced walls that have reached our days almost unchanged. When the Norman apse was decorated with mosaics, fragments of which are visible to this day on the wall behind the font. The font, by the way, were made by the Greeks, and she stands on the Foundation of the Norman era in the form of lions, carved in the 13th century.

After a period of relative prosperity in Eastern Sicily was again in ruins, this time in the terrible earthquake of 1693. The Cathedral was almost destroyed, and most of the buildings were later rebuilt in unique Sicilian Baroque style. Preserved around the Central nave and apse was built several elegantly decorated chapels with elegant columns, exquisite wrought-iron gates, colorful murals and masterful statues. Pride was the facade of the Church, built a century later. It was designed by Andrea Palma and decorated with sculptures of the great masters of Sicilian Ignazio Marabitti.

The final stage of the restoration of the Cathedral, with 3 thousand years of history started in 1911, when architect Paolo Orso proceeded to the laborious work of removing the daunting "jewelry" of the 19th century, which exposed every Italian Church.