Si Trova: a Siracusa
Lat: 37° 4' 36.26882" N - Long: 15° 17' 4.271249" E
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The catacombs of Syracuse, by extension and articulation, are second only to the Rome ones.
Catacombs served not only as a cemetery, but also as a gathering place.
The catacombs of San Giovanni had this function for hundreds of years; those were built between 315 and 360 AD, and remained in use until the end of the fifth century.
To excavate it, they followed the route of an aqueduct from the Greek era, whose traces are visible in the vault of the main gallery, and they gave a plan as that of a typical Roman "castrum", with a central gallery from which ten secondary branched off, leading to five round rooms, which had previously been cisterns for water, and which later housed tombs of saints or martyrs.
Unfortunately, the catacombs were, in the sackings of the following centuries, heavily tampered with and stripped of the plaster, mosaics and stone slabs of which they were covered, so that nowadays only the "bare skeleton" has arrived, as Paolo Orsi called it, of which they were composed.
According to tradition, the catacombs of San Giovanni were also visited by Saint Paul who, in the crypt of San Marziano, preached to the Christians.
They are the only ones to have been totally explored and can also be used by the disabled.
For info tel: 0931 64694; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm-5.30pm; The afternoon closure is anticipated by one hour in the winter months.
Full ticket € 8.00.
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