The Cathedral of Syracuse of dominates the city from the top of the Island of Ortigia
The charming Cathedral of Syracuse is one of the best example of the conversion of Greek and Roman temples into holy places in Sicily. Built on the marvellous limestone Temple of Athena in the fifth century BC, it dominates the city from the top of the Island of Ortigia. Recent archaeological excavations certified the existence of two earlier temples placed in this area, one dating back to the 1100 BC and a Greek one built in 600 BC. After the violent 1693 earthquake the church was critically damaged and its facade was redesigned by Andrea Palma with Baroque decorations, Corinthian columns and wonderful statues made by Ignazio Marabitti.
Near the Cathedral it is possible to visit the charming chapel of Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Syracuse, where it is preserved the famous statue of the Madonna of the Snow dating to 1512 and the wonderful altar designed by Luigi Vanvitelli, the famous architect of the royal palace of Caserta.