Top historic sites in Syracuse – Temples, springs, piazzas and the archeological park

Ear of Dionysius, ©Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

Ear of Dionysius, ©Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

The city of Syracuse is located in the southeastern region of Sicily, lying along the coast of the Ionian Sea. The town was founded by the Corinthians on the ruins of a previous Greek settlement in the year of 734 BC. For this reason Syracuse has an ancient Greek past which blends a little bit of history of Europe and the Mediterranean with mythology.

Today it stands as a modern city but it is still surrounded by archeological sites, temples, castles and amphitheaters which are visited by many tourists.

 

Temples in Syracuse

One of the most ancient Greek temples on the island of Sicily is the Temple of Apollo, or in other name Artemis. This Doric style temple is situated in Ortygia and was built approximately in 565 BC. Today only a few walls and columns are still standing but even in ruins it is worth seeing. Not far from these ruins, at Piazza Duomo, another temple is located, which was constructed in the 5th century BC and later it became a cathedral. We also recommend you to visit Caravaggio’s Burial of Saint Lucy down in the catacombs under Piazza Duomo.

Temple of Apollo, ©MeRyan/Flickr

Temple of Apollo, ©MeRyan/Flickr

Spring of Arethusa and Maniaces Castle

Learn more about the ancient history of Syracuse by visiting the mythological sites and old buildings around town. Admire one of the most popular sights of the city, a large fountain called the Spring of Arethusa. Near the fountain you will also find the Maniaces Castle, which got its name after George Maniakes, a Byzantine general. The building is a medieval structure which has been extended several times during the past centuries.

Arethusa Spring, ©Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

Arethusa Spring, ©Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

Neapolis Archeological Park

Syracuse is rich not only in Greek architecture. You can also find some buildings constructed during the Roman period which represent their style of architecture as well. Visit Neapolis Archeological Park and view the well preserved Greek and Roman amphitheatre carved out of a rock. As Greek traditions dictate their construction is open and semi circular while the Roman theatre has an oval shape and it is enclosed. At the archeological park you can visit the Altar of Geron II, the Saint Venera Quarry, the Ear of Dionysius, several caverns and necropolises.

Ear of Dionysius, ©Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

Ear of Dionysius, ©Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

Soak up the past and history of Syracuse. Travel back in time and experience the real Sicily as you visit the Neapolis Archeological Park.

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