Syracuse: UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cicero once described Syracuse as “the greatest and most beautiful of the Greek cities”. Up to a million people – three times the population of mighty Athens – are claimed to have lived there in antiquity. This city on the small island of Ortigia was later conquered first by the Romans, then by Arabs, Byzantines and Normans. They have left behind a unique architectural heritage: UNESCO declared Syracuse a World Heritage Site in 2005 due to its archaeological importance.
A masterwork of mosaics: the Cappella Palatina
The narrow streets of Palermo’s historic centre with their rattling Vespa scooters and vivacious market women lead to the impressive Norman palace. Inside it you will find the famous Cappella Palatina. Its richness is simply overwhelming: The erstwhile royal chapel is decorated with elements of both Christian and Islamic style, artistic carvings and marble floors. It contains an inner room which is entirely covered with precious golden mosaics.
La Seu – Palma’s Gothic cathedral
In 1230, at a site once occupied by a mosque, construction work began on the famous cathedral of St Maria in Palma de Mallorca, otherwise known as “La Seu”. Initially built in a pure Gothic style, with spires stretching up to the sky, this cathedral was given a few “modern” touches over the course of the centuries. And at the beginning of the 20th century some of the building’s interior rooms
were redesigned by none other than Gaudí.
A lecturer accompanies the trip
A lecturer will accompany this trip to deliver interesting and informative talks on a range of specialist subjects.