Piazza Duomo of Syracuse
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Piazza Duomo in Syracuse concentrates along its perimeter grandiose monuments ranging from ancient temples and precious churches to elegant noble palaces.
The centerpiece of the square is the Duomo, a of the best Baroque evidence of Syracuse, which incorporates the grandiose temple of Athena.
The Piazza del Duomo hides treasures even below its surface: the temple of Artemis and the hypogeum of Piazza Duomo . The Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia also overlooks the Piazza del Duomo, inside which it is possible to admire a painting by Caravaggio .
The Beneventano del Bosco Palace of Siracusa was built in the 15th century by the Arezzo family and was the seat of the Royal Chamber and the Senate of the city. The current appearance of the building is due to Baron Guglielmo Beneventano who in 1778, based on a design by the architect Luciano Alì, renovated the building. Today the palace is the most representative example of Baroque art in Ortigia .
The building is divided into three horizontal orders. The entrance portal is located between four Corinthian columns that support the balcony above. In the center of the façade there is a plaque which remembers that in 1806 the king of Bourbon, King Ferdinand III, passed through here. Inside the residence there is an elegant Baroque-style courtyard, surrounded by windows and a three-arched portico. From the terrace you can admire the splendid paving of the courtyard with a black and white cobblestone.
The interiors are richly decorated: the stuccos are by Gregorio Lombardo from Palermo, the frescoes and the paintings of the upper doors are by Ermenegildo Martorana, the crystals were made come from Malta and Venice.
The palace is also known for hosting Admiral Nelson at the time of the Napoleonic battles.
The Arezzo della Targia Palace in Syracuse is a noble building located next to the Beneventano del Bosco palace. It was built by the noble Arezzo family, barons who had possessions in the Targia district.
The building has a curvilinear shape as it follows the elliptical shape of the square. The structure of the Palace is delimited by ten pillars in crenellated style, has four portals, each of which is separated by windows. A second entrance to the building, different from the main one, shows a large arched door in Baroque style, flanked by two closed wrought iron balconies. Upstairs there are nine balconies also enclosed by railings and above them there are beams worked with Iblea stone.
The Borgia del Casale Palace in Syracuse was built in 1760, as reported in the inscription on the arch of the entrance hall, by Giuseppe Maria Borgia, an ancient Syracusan patrician house, whose family crest is present above the portal. The name of the building derives from the fact that the Borgia family was called “del Casale” due to the possession of a fief in the Contrada Casale area. The current architectural model derives from the restoration of a previous building from 1396 of which traces can be found both in the Dammusi and in the noble floor.
The main floor is the heart of the whole building, the walls are frescoed with original stuccoes from the 1700s, and consists of 6 halls with frescoed ceilings: the Room of the Coat of Arms, the Salotto dei Viaggiatori, the Salotto delle Arti, the Hall of Cupid and Psyche, the Hall of Mirrors, the Alcove and the Cortiletto.It is an exclusive place for prestigious events.
Vermexio Palace in Syracuse , also known as Palazzo del Senato , now the Town Hall, occupies the corner north-east of Piazza Duomo, parts of the foundations fall on the remains of the Artemision temple. In 1629 it was commissioned by the city government to the Syracusan architect of Spanish origin, Giovanni Vermexio, to replace the ancient seat of the Regional Chamber of Syracuse.
The building has a square plan and was a perfect cube, in the middle height is divided by a long balcony that separates the two floors. The ground floor is set on classic Renaissance schemes, with large gabled windows, rusticated walls in the Doric-Tuscan style and there are also Baroque hints, from masks to shelves. The first floor is in the Baroque style. In the façade the pilasters, in Ionic style, alternate with niches that were intended to house the marble statues of the Spanish royalty which were never completed. The structure ends with a decoration with festoons running between the capitals and a protruding cornice.
The current Town Hall, in its atrium, houses the eighteenth-century carriage of the Senate in a large glass room, rich in Baroque style decorations.
The Archbishop's Palace of Syracuse is the seat of the Syracusan Episcopal Curia and the Seminary. It houses the ancient Alagoniana Library, commissioned by Bishop Alagona, in which many sacred manuscripts are collected.
The first building dates back to the era of the Swabian denomination. The traces of the ancient palace are visible in the portico and in a small chapel inside the building, both of Swabian foundations, and with the mighty cross vaults that recall those of the Maniace castle and the Bellomo palace.
The current structure of the building. building was commissioned by Bishop Torres in 1618 and was built on a project by the architect Andrea Vermexio. His project has a late Renaissance scheme, with construction details of Spanish derivation. It is probable that the palace underwent some alterations in the Aragonese period due to the presence of a three-light window that emerged from the wall face of the second courtyard. In 1751 the project was altered by the French engineer Luigi Alessandro Dumontier, who added the second floor and transformed the windows into balconies. The eighteenth-century vestibule was built by bishop Trigona who had granite and marble trunks from the Roman era reused and in 1774 he had ten columns of Egyptian granite and two more of white marble built in the portico that connects the two courtyards of the building. Since the various bodies of the building were born autonomously and in different eras, it was necessary to put them in communication through the opening of doors, open doors, corridor constructions and even the creation of an air passage.
Finally , to be admired, on the right side of the building, the splendid Mediterranean garden which is separated from the square by a wall embellished with pinnacles bearing the shape of a cup.
The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage Palace of Siracusa is also known by the name of "Numismatic Cabinet", because inside it houses a permanent exhibition of ancient coins.
It was built in the second half of the 1800s in a neoclassical style, in the area where the deconsecrated convent of San Giovanni di Dio, now demolished, which housed the seat of the Archaeological Museum of Syracuse.
The building has two floors, the facade has a large door, on the ground floor there are large rectangular windows, in the first floor five round windows, interspersed with eight pilasters, with Ionic capital.
The Numismatic Cabinet offers a rich historical documentation on the evolution of the coin, from the primitive means of exchange, such as axes, spearheads, pieces of bronze, to the most ancient coins dating back to the 5th century BC. C. Also documented are the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman and Aragonese coinage to reach the minting of the Palermo mint, before its suppression by King Ferdinand III.
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