Akrai
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AKRAI

A Syracuse colony, with a mainland facing expansion bridge, Akrai was founded in the 664-663 BC on a terrain already inhabited since the Stone Age. Scattered Necropolis testify to the existence of Sicilian villages during the 10th-11th Centuries BC, which on their arrival, the Greeks managed to control and manage thanks to Akrai’s position, that of being constructed on a 770 metre high hill in a dominant territorial position.
The City then had a period of development and well-being, continually following the fate of the mother city of Syracuse.
According to Tucidide, in 413 BC on the outskirts of Akrai, the Syracuse people finally defeated the Athenian army which was controlled from Nicia.
It was under the reign of Gerone II (275-215 BC) that Akrai peaked its maximum splendour.
The City was taken by the Romans in 211 and became incorporated in its dominions, where it remained until the end of the Empire. At first it was a Decuman city (paid a tenth) and therefore became Civitas Stipendiaria (paid a wage) when it also began to mint its own currency.

Passed over to Byzantine dominium, it was then beseiged and destroyed by the Arabs in 827 and quickly forgotten.
Only during the Norman period, was a castle constructed on the site of ancient Akrai. A suburb then developed which was protected by a town wall, which became known as Palazzolo. Today it is known as Palazzolo Acreide.

Monuments of great importance have been discovered and recovered: the Latomie (stone caves) where stone was extracted for use in building temples, roads and defence constructions, a well preserved theatre, which could hold up to 600 spectators, the quadrangular Bouleuterion or Council room, the Ferali Temples, the Decuman and important Acrensi temples.
Not too far away, you can also visit and admire the Santoni, Rupestri sculptures from the 3rd century BC, the Greek and the Sicilian necropolis, both carved out in the natural rock.

AKRAI
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