Si Trova: a Siracusa
Lat: 37° 3' 50.27105" N - Long: 15° 17' 35.11236" E
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Even today the Temple of Apollo, as it did almost three thousand years ago, welcomes anyone who comes to visit Ortigia.
This is the first temple to have been built in Sicily; it has the classical "form" of the temple surrounded by columns; it can be dated to the beginning of the 6th century BC, it is 55.36 meters long and 21.47 meters wide.
At the end of the work, the builders engraved on a step on the east side an inscription about 8 meters long and still legible, which says: "Kleomene did for Apollo, the son of Knidieidas, and raised the colonnades, beautiful works".
The memory of the architect's name, a very rare circumstance in the Greek world, indicates that contemporaries were already aware of the exceptional nature of the work.
The temple had a colorful terracotta decoration, had a wooden roof covered with tiles, probably one of the first to be made in Sicily, and presents stylistic "uncertainties" that highlight its pioneering aspect, such as the monolithic columns , appear rather stocky, and are too close to the sides, moreover the inter-columnar space is not precise.
Moreover the triglyphs are not aligned in correspondence with the columns and the plan of the temple is very elongated.
The various temples built later in Sicily improved these and other aspects always taking this temple as a model.
Going by the time it was changed into a Byzantine church and into a mosque; later some buildings were built above it, which compromised many parts of it, including a Bourbon barracks in which the temple was rediscovered and was later fully unearthed.
Today it is possible to turn around it.
You can still see, against the west side of the temple, a wall and a tower belonging to a Byzantine fortification.
Today we discover...
Church St Nicola
The most seventeenth-century façade in Sicily
Chiesa San Nicola di Trecastagni
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