Hypogeum of Piazza Duomo in Syracuse

Hypogeum of Piazza Duomo in Syracuse

Herbert Frank - CC2.0


 Piazza del Duomo - Siracusa (SR)

The Hypogeum of Piazza Duomo in Syracuse , dating back to the Greek age, is an underground path which is accessed from a small opening along the wall of the garden of the Archbishop's Palace .
A first nucleus of tunnels is linked to the presence of a previous quarry located in Piazza Duomo from where, in the eighteenth century, the stone for construction was taken of the facade of the Cathedral. The access point was identified in 1869 during the construction of public works that affected the area of ​​the square between the Archbishopric and the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia.
The route, which connects east-west the Piazza del Duomo at the Marina walls, is made up of a long main gallery and a plot of tunnels, passages and other underground passages. One of the minor galleries joins the large cistern of the Archbishop's palace which played an essential role not only for the water supply of the Archbishop's Palace, but for the whole of Ortigia. Along the way it is possible to see the remains of other wells or ancient cisterns, intercepted and destroyed during the excavation of the tunnels.
The hypogeum has been enlarged thanks to teams of " pyrriators " , & nbsp; & nbsp; during the Second World War in order to be used as air-raid shelter : collection points were set up for the civilian population in case of attack; a room was excavated to keep the simulacrum of Saint Lucia in zinc crates; accesses for the population located in the retaining wall of the archbishop's garden were prepared with a further entrance to the galleries in the ancient wall of the Navy; Finally, an underground path was created which connected the Piazza del Duomo to the Marina and joined the cistern through a secondary tunnel in a north-south direction.
The hypogeum presents itself as the only complex final result of the anthropic stratification of the site, which collects in its components the contributions related to different phases of the city's history. The hypogean route is dedicated to the civilian victims of the bombing of Syracuse on July 19, 1943. Inside there are explanatory panels accompanied by photos and period images that show the transformations undergone by the hypogeum over the centuries.

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