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Neapolitan Islands, Italy

Neapolitan Islands, Italy

Gracefully resting on a plateau, surrounded by low cliffs and overlooking the Drago Junction, there is this city which has twin northern peaks on the ridge, and it’s called Agrigento. As a Greek colony since 6th century B.C, the city gets a grand amount of attention for its outstanding Doric Temples. One of the greatest testaments of the Greek civilization, the territory extends from Necropolis, Roman Agrigento, as well as the ancient civilization, remains of Hellenistic making it an archeological marvel.

 

Numerous Greek imprints are left behind in the form of remnants of temples-

 

  • The Temple of Hera-was had converted into a Christian Church before it was demolished.
  • Temple of Concordia– The six columned temple was preserved as it too was converted into a church.
  • The Temple of Zeus– it had a gigantic altar in front of it and was left unfinished. A few remains are left behind as the earlier ruins were used to construct jetties of the Porto Empedocle.
  • The Temple of Demeter and Persephone/ Temple of Castor and Pollux- These are the ruins of ancient “cult” Buildings. You can visit a “Pre-Hellenic” Cave Sanctuary which is at the bottom of the cliffs, where the temple is underlying a Church- The Church of San Biagio.
  • The temple of Hephaestus and Asclepius

 

These are the most popular temples as they also serve as archeological sites along with many other temples of Greek gods and heroes. It also has remained since it served as an important port as well as a military post for the then Roman Empire. Therefore, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its cultural value as well as its historical importance

 

Located in Monte Barbaro, roughly 2-3 km from modern day Calatafimi, Segesta, an ancient Greek city of Sicily is nestled. It was the main city of people of Trojan origin who were pretty similar to the humans of early Iron Age. They were chiefly Greek, and you could view ancient pottery with inscriptions carved in Greek. Archeologists find the studies to show that under the Roman law, it had become a free city after the first Punic War. The locals were given Latin Rights in the later part of 2nd Century A.D.

 

Towards the eastern coast of Sicily, about 33 miles southwards of Catania, is one of the Central Greek cities- Syracuse. One needs to cross bridges to be able to reach this little yet eccentric island. This is the place where the ever famous and renowned Archimedes once ran naked all across the streets screaming- “Eureka.” The distinguished Sigmund Freud described this city as “The loveliest region of Italy: a stunning orgy of colors, scents, and lights….a great delight”. It is also known as the island that inspires people. The city was rebuilt post an earthquake in 1693 and continues to remain as the soul of Ortigia, which also happens to be the smallest island that is connected to its mainland via several road bridges.

 

It encloses the bay half way known as the Great Harbour. In the heart of this city lies the most famous Syracuse Duomo– old Cathedral, which has a fine, quaint façade, has the Doric columns to Temple of Athena, and is defined as a rococo as well as baroque. It is one of the most spell bounding experience during the day time as the sunlight hits the white material, it is made of, and lights its up, giving you a sense of you being in a dream like situation. The columns of the façade are in a Corinthian order. This site is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with the richest history ever.  This temple is also the highest place of worship.  The cathedral underwent several changes over time and had changed shape, each time this place was conquered by a civilization that was different from the previous one. It was once a Greek Temple, then a Byzantine Basilica, then, it was converted into an Arabic Mosque and further turned into a Norman Cathedral and then finally into a Rocco or baroque Cathedral. The Doric columns are the only survivors since the 5th century B.C.

Related: ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – WHITE NIGHTS, BRIDGES, DOSTOYEVSKY, SYMPATHY.

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