/ / The ear of Dionysius: photos, description (Orecchio di Dionisio)

The ear of Dionysius: photos, description (Orecchio di Dionisio)

Ear of Dionysius is an artificial limestone cave carved Temanite in Syracuse. The name of this tourist attraction is derived from its resemblance to the shape of the human ear.

Probably, the Ear of Dionysius was formed on the site of an old quarry, which is famous town. The cave is 23 meters in height, and its length deep into the rock is 65 meters. If you look at it from above, we can see that the cave is a curve in the form of the letter S. And the entrance to the cave is shaped like a drop. It is because of this shape in the cave is incredibly good acoustics - even a quiet whisper heard throughout the room.

Its name the cave got in 1586, and came up with him none other than the great Italian artist Caravaggio. The title refers to the tyrant of Syracuse Dionysius I. According to legend (possibly also invented by Caravaggio), Dionysius used the cave as a prison for political opponents and, thanks to the wonderful acoustics, overheard their plans and ferret out secrets. Another, more terrible, the legend says that Dionysius was ordered to knock the cave in the shape of the ear to amplify the screams of prisoners who were subjected to severe torture here. Unfortunately, today it is impossible to enjoy the excellent acoustics, since its Central point is closed.

By the way, the Ear of Dionysius also called a type of ear trumpet with a flexible hose, and this term is used to refer to surveillance, especially for political purposes.

But in General there is very good reason to believe that the cave is still of natural origin. Because it is located in a low slope of a hill composed of solid rock, it could be formed as a result of the action of rain in prehistoric times. Similar education, having the shape of the canyon, many of which can be seen in the U.S. state of Utah. The narrow top of the cave and the expansion in the bottom part along with serpentine-shape are also characteristic of the slot canyons. And just polished the wall serve as further proof of long-term action of water. This natural attraction combined with the incredible acoustics, most likely, led to the fact that the ancient people considered this place sacred, and therefore it is well preserved.