Panoramic view - Erice
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ERICE

A few kilometres away from Trapani, in the Western part of Sicily, on the summit of Mount Giuliano is where one can find Erice. This City has a unique fascination and incredible panoramic views of the surrounding region and the archipelago of Egadi.
The City guarantees many unforgettable emotions thanks to the Medieval aspect of its buildings, its alleyways, churches and its still preserved walls.
Its name is derived from Venere Ericina, the goddess of fertility, who was worshipped from ancient times with the construction of the famous temple.

According to Tucidide, a Greek historian, Erice was founded by the Esuli Trojans, who embarked there after escaping from Troy. They then mixed with the local population of Sicani, allowing the birth of the Elimi people, the same population who founded Segesta.
Erice was then run for centuries by the Carthaginians, with a short break of a year, in which it was in feud and under rule of Pirro, the King of Epiro.
During the First Punic War (264-241 BC), it was made a stronghold by General Amilcare, who deported a number of inhabitants to assist in the foundation of Drepanon, now Trapani, which is still today only a port.
The City then saw the clash between the Romans and the Carthaginians for over a century. It then passed hands to the Romans and became a famous religious centre.

Little is known though from Roman times nor Byzantine.
Erice flourished once more in history with the arrival of the Arabs, who conquered the rock in ‘831, promising economic development of the town. The Normans, under the command of Ruggero d’Altavilla, besieged it (1167) and conquered it in the 12th Century, giving it the name of Monte San Guiliano, which it retained until the end of 1934.

It’s from this period that saw the construction of the Matrice Church, the Castle, the Palazzo Chiaramonte and the renovation of the walls.
With the growth of religious orders during the 13th and 14th Centuries, other churches were built, which have kept the same architectural and urban structures from that time to modern day.

Entry to the triangular perimeters of Erice is via the Trapani port and by passing through Via Regia, where one can find the Matrice Church (1314), with its Gothic doorway and rose-window. Other worthwhile churches to visit are: the Norman Church of S. Martino, the Church of Salvatore, the 14th Century Saint Francis and Saint John the Baptist.
One can also visit the Venere Castle which was erected during the 12th Century and where, once upon a time, lay the Temple of Venere (Venus).

ERICE
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Sicily region, Island of Italy

 

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