Athena Temple in Syracuse

Athena Temple in Syracuse

Verity Cridland - CC2.0


 Piazza del Duomo - Siracusa (SR)

The Athenaion of Syracuse , or temple of Athena , is a building of the Doric order erected in Syracuse in the 5th century BC. by the tyrant Gelone following the victory against the Carthaginians in the battle of Imera. The temple had been preceded by a place of worship dating back to the eighth century BC, with an altar unearthed in the excavations of the early twentieth century, and by a first temple from the mid-sixth century BC ..
L'Athenaion it was built, according to historians, by the tyrannical dynasty of the Dinomenidi coming from Gela and since the first tyrant of Syracuse was Gelone, the construction of the temple in the fifth century BC is attributed to him.
Athenaion was a peripteral hexastyle temple with 14 columns on the long sides . The front presented the contraction of the terminal intercolumni as a canonical solution to the angular conflict. The peristyle surrounded a cell with a pronaos and an opisthodomus, both with two columns in antis.
The temple was reused as a place of Christian worship and currently the residual constructive elements are incorporated in the walls of the Cathedral of Syracuse . On the left side of the cathedral, some columns and the stylobate on which they rested, in local limestone, remain visible, while other remains, such as marble tiles and lion-shaped drips, are preserved in the Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum. Inside the current Cathedral, 9 columns on the right side of the peripteral are also clearly visible, characterized by a rather accentuated entasis, and the two in front of the cell.

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