Castle Maniaceo - Siracusa
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SYRACUSE

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A strong process of Christianity then came about, testified by the presence of remarkable catacombs throughout the territory. In 313, Syracuse became a Episcopal seat with the edict of Costantino.
After the Vandali massacre and the pause of the Ostrogoth Reign, Syracuse was conquered in 535 by the Byzantine General Belisarius and annexed for three centuries to Constantinople.

In 878, the Arabs arrived, who after devastating and plundering the City, made it the main town of Val di Noto.
In 1038, the Greek Byzantine captain George Maniaces, reconquered the City and left his mark in the layout of the City with the construction of a castle on the Island of Ortigia, which still carries his name.
During the Norman era (1086), Count Ruggero applied Christian politics to the City by means of the renovation of the Cathedral and the construction of new churches.
It was then ruled by the Genovese from 1205 to 1220, then reconquered by the Swabians and declared State property, whilst in the City new religious orders were installed: the Franciscans and Dominicans.

After the Angioina stint and the Vespers experience, the City passed hands to the Aragonese and new churches were founded and new noble buildings were constructed.
In the ‘500s, a further 2 monasteries were built, giving rise to two new religious orders: the Jesuits and the Carmelites. After a project of building restoration, the City successively assumed a strong Baroque appearance. The process was interrupted by the earthquake of 1693, which destroyed a large part of the City. All of the following centuries saw the citizens employed in its reconstruction.

With the coming of the Bourbons and the diffusion of liberal ideology, Syracuse participated in the popular revolts against the Crown, paying a price with the transfer of the main town to Noto and a consequent social impoverishment.
After the unification to the Reign of Italy (1860), its fortified City walls were pulled down, whilst during the Fascist era (1934-36), a bridge was built connecting the mainland to the Medieval Island of Ortigia.

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