the Cathedral of Holy Mary's Nativity of Ortigia Island of Ortigia incorporates what was the main sacred temple in Doric style of the Polis di Syrakousai, dedicated to Athena (Minerva) and converted to the church with the advent of Christianity. Considered the most important church of the city of Siracusa, became part of the goods protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site. His style is outside mainly baroque and rococo, while inside it alternates parts dating back to that period siceliota, because belonging to the greek temple and parts dating back to the medieval era, built by the Normans toward the seventeenth and thus left up to the present days. Its internal structure is composed in different naves and chapels, which have a classical style and decorated, typical of the baroque also.
Of great religious significance, preserves statues, relics and relics of saints, martyrs and noble Syracusans. Its furnishings have seen the succession of artists from various parts of Italy and from abroad. That has always been considered a symbol of the religiousness of Syracuse, the cathedral crossed the various phases of historical and cultural sites of the city.
The site where stands the Duomo or Cathedral of Syracuse you can define unique in its kind, it was continuously the fulcrum of the sacredness main city of Syracuse. The temple of Athena (or Minerva), situated at the highest point of the island of Ortigia, is without doubt one of the temples, if not the only one who can say lived and worked from the classical era up to the present time; the people who walk on a daily basis, the polished floor that surrounds him, the light which will filter from the windows, the dozens of columns still intact, make it an event unique in its kind. Surely the temple Syracusan that has best preserved for centuries. The temple was built with the white rock limestone Syracuse and above a thin layer of stucco. The Foundation system is defined today grandiose as counted at the origin of the mighty walls on which was sore in the cell and the stilobade. Even today these foundations are to be part of the support of the Duomo. The entablature showed triglifi and metopes. Currently outside, remain visible on the left side of the cathedral, some columns with the stylobate on which they rested, while inside the current Cathedral are also clearly visible 9 columns of the right side of the peripter and two in front of the cell.
The Byzantines murarono space between the Doric columns (situation visible even today), while in the walls more interiors of ancient cell were opened 8 arches on each side, so as to provide a building with three naves each concluded by an apse on the bottom. The aisles were equipped with a barrel vaulted ceiling, while the nave had a ceiling of wood and tiles. With the Arab conquest, in 878, the church was looted of all its precious and transformed it into a mosque. The Norman king Roger II, in 1093, gave the ring back to Christian Siracusa and the cult of the Mother of God in restoring the archbishopric entrusted to Bishop Ruggero. In Norman times the walls of the nave were lifted and there were opened windows while the apse was decorated with mosaics. The polychrome floor dating back to the XV century and in 1518 the central nave was covered with wooden ceiling still preserved. In the sixteenth century was also increased the campanile. The facade is a working very complex as rich of decorations and for this reason it is considered the baroque expression more high that there is in the entire Syracuse. Laterally the facade is in the bottom left its original aspect of Temple of siceliota era they are visible the imposing columns of Doric order. There you notice the narrow open windows in the medieval era and the terrace is delimited by architectural ornaments placed in a straight line and all having equal extent and rounded figure.