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Cathedral, Ortygia, Siracusa, Italy

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The island's cathedral, or duomo, is a fascinating building because it was built around an ancient temple.
Cathedral, Ortygia, Siracusa, Italy
Photo © Steve Parode
The ancient colonists built a temple to the goddess Athena (Minerva in Roman mythology), perhaps around 480 B.C. In the seventh century A.D., the temple was converted into a Christian church, and became the city's cathedral soon afterward. The ancient columns were integrated into the new structure. After the earthquake of 1693, a new Baroque facade, designed by Andrea Palma, was added to the cathedral; it was completed in 1753.

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