Syracuse Hypogeum can be visited again

January 9, 2020 By Bellarome Travel

A dip in the past and in the history of the city of Syracuse, through the rediscovery of fascinating passages and underground caves that, connecting the island of Ortigia to the sea

After more than a year of shutdown, due to closure due to restoration and maintenance work, the Hypogeum of Piazza Duomo in Syracuse, the most famous and important underground route of Ortigia, which winds through small underground tunnels and the tunnel, returns to be visited. mother, with the main entrance adjacent to the Archbishopric.

A dip in the past and in the history of the city of Syracuse, through the rediscovery of fascinating passages and underground quarries that, linking the island of Ortigia to the sea, testify to the beauty and grandeur of the water system of the time.

Galleries that from the center of the island led directly to the sea: such as the one that met with the large cistern of the Archbishop’s Palace, built by Bishop Paolo Faraone, and which bathed the entire bishop’s palace and the whole island. The path is truly unique because it branches off into many underground paths and in as many directions: there is the largest main gallery (accessed by a small opening located along the garden wall of the Archbishop’s Palace) which is the one that connects Piazza del Duomo, which is the highest point on the island of Ortigia, with the Foro Italico, where the walls of the Marina are located. Tourist Start their Sicilian tours of Syracuse in Ortigia, the city’s historic centre, where you can witness ancient Greek and Roman architectural remnants dating back centuries.

And then there are a number of other minor galleries, secondary arteries along which it is still possible to access other underground paths and see some remains of wells that have remained intact after the excavation works.

The hypogeum of Piazza Duomo was rediscovered in 1869 during work in the area between the Archbishop’s Palace and the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, but is considered one of the most important pieces for the reconstruction of post-war Italian history : in fact it underwent an important transformation on the occasion of the second world war during which it was considerably extended to be adapted and used as an air-raid shelter and a safe collection point for civilians during the bombings of the Second World War.

Famous were the “pyrriators“, that is teams of workers who were entrusted with the task of enlarging the paths already excavated and who worked incessantly in the quarries to obtain a room where, in zinc cases, the silver statue and the treasure of Saint Lucia could be kept. After the world war ended, however, the galleries were abandoned until a first reopening to the public in 2006 and, following a further period of closure, a second one in July 2014.

Left closed for a long time, today the Hypogeum is in the hands of the Superintendency of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse, waiting to be transferred to the availability of the patrimony of the Sicilian Region, and is temporarily open only on Friday and Saturday from 8.30 am at 13.30 and on other days by reservation only.

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