Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Syracuse Cathedral

Syracuse, on the eastern side of Sicily was a major Greek colony which was said to rival Athens in power at one point. It fell to the Romans in 212 BC and is now, of course, part of Italy.  My wife and I passed by the magnificent baroque style Cathedral as it stands today.  

We decided to see whether it was open and gingerly walked inside. We were not prepared for what we discovered. 

Inside we were supposed to find columns that resemble those commonly seen at Greek temples dedicated to gods such as Apollo, Zeus, and Athena.

It turns out the present cathedral was originally a temple dedicated to Athena. Hence the Greek columns in the walls of the cathedral.  

On the outside, there was nothing to indicate that this is anything but a Catholic church in the Baroque style.  

However, looking at the main doors from the inside, the Greek columns are nothing but conspicuous.  

We have heard of pagan temples converted into Christian churches.  This is the first time we are able to see how it was done - at least one of the ways in which it was done.  We are very happy that we decided to take a chance to check it out.  

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