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Temple of Apollo

Overview

The fascinating ruins of one of the first temples built by the Greeks in Syracuse (early 6th century BC), the oldest Doric temple in Sicily and the oldest stone temple in the West, greet guests as they enter Ortigia, in the oldest part of Syracuse. A dedication to Apollo is engraved on the top step on the eastern side. The remains of the columns (6 on the short sides and 17 on the long ones), squat and close together, bear witness to the archaic architecture of the temple, built in the characteristic yellowish local stone, known as "giurgiulena", which has undergone several modifications over the centuries. It was transformed into a Christian church in the Byzantine period (6th century AD), a mosque in the Arab era (9th century AD), a Christian basilica once more under the Normans (11th century AD), and then incorporated into a barracks in the 16th century AD during Spanish rule. Charles V of Habsburg even used it as a quarry for the fortifications. At the beginning of the 20th century, the remains of the Temple of Apollo, freed from all superstructures, saw the light of day again in the context of the city, without a frame to define them. In fact, on weekday mornings, a typical city market is held just behind the temple.

Temple of Apollo

Siracusa, a Ortigia, largo XXV Luglio

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