Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Best Doric/Baroque Temple/Duomo So Far

Although Ortigia is nice enough in itself, our real goal was to see its Duomo, a Baroque cathedral built right on top of and unabashedly incorporating the foundations and columns of a 5th century BCE Doric Temple of Athena. It was pretty incredible.
North side of the building, note the inset Doric column, then
note the 10 or 12 more capitals along the top of the stone

Entrance and facade; pretty Baroque

Column hugger; inside, the massive 2500
year old columns are pretty conspicuous and
are still holding the thing up; one sees
religious buildings built over others all over
the more contested parts of Europe--the few
Roman temples that have survived in Rome
have done so because, like this Duomo, they
were "converted" to Christian use; but there
is nothing else of this age, intactness, and
continuing function


Back to the Baroque

Doric columns at the head of what was the

More columns

Looking off into one of the Baroque side

Ceiling of another

Play of light on the porch

Bonus: right down the Duomo Square, which
is significant for other architectural reasons,
is the Church of Santa Lucia (patron saint of
Sircusa), in which resides a moderately
famous Caravaggio, namely, his Santa Lucia,
which he painted while on the lam between
his flight from Malta and return to Italy 

The Church has a no pix policy, and while the
guard was enforcing this with a group of
college-age tourists, I snapped what is truly a
Parthian Shot as I was walking out the door;
evidently, this is not one of the paintings on
which Caravaggio's reputation stands, being
largely a butt-shot of one of the grave


Tawana said...

The architecture of that church is amazing!

Larry Myer said...

I was really blown away by this church also. The incorporation of the ancient temple is amazing. And to think I almost missed it! My guidebook didn't make anything of it.