September 5, 2015

1876 ITALY (Sicily) - Syracuse & the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (UNESCO WHS)

1876 Syracuse - 1. Fountain of Diana; 2. The Cathedral;
3. Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco.

This site, designated an UNESCO WHS in 2005, consists of two separate elements: the Necropolis of Pantalica (which contains over 5,000 tombs cut into the rock, most of them dating from the 13th to 7th centuries BC), and the ancient Syracuse, which includes the nucleus of the city’s foundation as Ortygia by Greeks from Corinth in the 8th century BC. The site of the city, which Cicero described as ‘the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all’, retains vestiges such as the Temple of Athena (5th century BC, later transformed to serve as a cathedral), a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheatre, a fort and more.

Many remains bear witness to the troubled history of Sicily, from the Byzantines to the Bourbons, interspersed with the Arabo-Muslims, the Normans, Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty (1197-1250), the Aragons and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Historic Syracuse offers a unique testimony to the development of Mediterranean civilization over three millennia. Among the buildings of the Christian period is the cathedral (Duomo), built by bishop Zosimo in the 7th century over the great Temple of Athena (5th century BC), on Ortygia island. This was a Doric edifice with six columns on the short sides and 14 on the long sides.

The roof of the nave is from Norman times, as well as the mosaics in the apses. The façade was rebuilt by Andrea Palma in 1725–1753, with a double order of Corinthian columns, and statues by Ignazio Marabitti. Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, originally built in the Middle Ages for the Arezzo family, was extensively modified between 1779 and 1788 in the Sicilian Baroque style, following its purchase by Baron Guglielmo Beneventano. At the center of the fountain he created in Syracuse, Giulio Moschetti (1847-1909) portrayed Diana, the goddess of the hunt, in all of her calm and pride.

About the stamp
The stamp belongs to a series of definitive stamps, about which I wrote here.

Syracuse & the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica - UNESCO official website
Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco - Wikipedia

Sender: Ana
Sent from Palermo (Sicily / Italy), on 14.09.2014

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