SYRACUSE ARTEMISION – DIVINE OF DIVINE
Artemision of Syracuse is one of the most fascinating places in Magna Grecia, an archaeological site of great historical value, telling the presence of man from Prehistory to the late Middle Ages.
The Ionic temple of Syracuse is dedicated to the goddess Artemis and was designed in the late VI century BCE based on the Artemision at Ephesus as a show of wealth and opulence by the Syracusian aristocracy. Although it was never finished – due to the construction of the nearby Doric temple of Athena – it was considered one of the most authoritative buildings in Syracuse.
THE IONIC TEMPLE
The Artemision of Syracuse, or the Ionic temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, was discovered by Paolo Orsi in 1910, in an area strongly characterized by the presence of numerous churches. The area began as true worship area in the Greek period, a period in which they were offered animal sacrifices to the pagan gods and votive statues, as evidenced by the numerous bone fragments found inside the excavation. It was built on it from the 6th century A.C., the Temple of Artemis, the only example in Ionian style throughout Sicily, probably unfinished.
The columns of Artemision of Siracusa reflect the architectural peculiarities of the famous Artemis temple in Ephesus, Turkey. Likewise, the bases on which the columns are based show stylistic affinities with the temple of Hera in Samo (Greece). The Ephesian and samie workers came, in fact, in Syracuse conquered the cultural liveliness of the most important commercial and political center of the Mediterranean.
Piazza Minerva, 11, Siracusa, SR, 96100
From April to September
Open every day
Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm
Sunday 10am to 13am
From October to March
From Monday to Saturday 10am – 13am / 02pm – 05pm
Full Ticket: € 3,00
Didactic activity / guided tour
Reduced Ticket: € 2,00
Under 18 / over 65 / families / schools / teachers / journalists / military and law enforcement
Disabled with accompanying person and children up to 6 years old
tel. + 39 329 2417142
The site can be visited by persons with mobility challenges thanks to a lift that leads directly to the dig site.
L’ARCHITETTURA DEL TEMPIO
The temple was probably some 59 m long and 25 wide with six columns in the two frontal areas and 14 (or 16) along the sides. The entrance, or pronao, faces East and the back, or opistodomo, faces West. No naòs was found, but there is an open sekos, while the peristyle was covered with large terracotta tiles with decorated edges featuring multi-coloured paintings of elegant female figures.
From the splendor of antiquity to the dark of the late Middle Ages with the last archaeological testimony: the Putridarium, or the underground crypt of the Church of San Sebastianello. To accompany the soul of the deceased from the earthly life to the next, the confreres practiced the rite of the “double burial” or the pitiful body accumulation during its decomposition and burial.
The pavilion was designed in 2005 by the architect Vincenzo Latina and serves as the entrance to the excavation area. The modern architecture of the structure relates to the buildings on Piazza Minerva, filling a void left when the XV century church of the Madonna della Misericordia (later called ‘of San Sebastianello’) was demolished and the remains razed to make way for the expansion of city government offices. The volume of the pavilion is a single block made of calcareous rock recently extracted from the local Syracusian Latomias, or quarries, on the surface of which a vertical cut on the wall “visually and spatially connects the remains of the Ionic temple with the corner column of the Temple of Athena.” The interior features a play of shadow and light that echoes the atmosphere that would be created by a naos in Greek temples. The Pavilion of Artemis has earned various international architecture awards and recognitions: the ARCH&STONE’13 International Stone Architecture Award, the 2012 Gold Medal of Italian Architecture, the 2008 Urban Quality and Innovation Award.
Artemision di Siracusa
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