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Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica - Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica

Pantalica, Italy

Felsnekropolis von Pantalica is a fascinating archaeological site located in the beautiful island of Sicily, Italy. It is situated in the Anapo Valley, near the town of Sortino, and is one of the most impressive and well-preserved necropolises in Europe.

The name "Felsnekropolis" translates to "rock necropolis", and it is a fitting description for this ancient burial ground. The site is made up of over 5,000 tombs carved into the limestone cliffs, dating back to the 13th and 8th centuries BC. These tombs were used by the ancient inhabitants of the area, the Sicels, as a final resting place for their loved ones.

Walking through the site, visitors can see the intricate details of the tombs, some of which are adorned with elaborate carvings and decorations. The sheer number of tombs is a testament to the significance of this site in ancient times. It is estimated that the Felsnekropolis could have held up to 50,000 tombs, making it one of the largest necropolises in the world.

Aside from its archaeological value, the Felsnekropolis von Pantalica also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the site and marvel at the natural beauty of the Anapo Valley, with its lush vegetation and sparkling river.

In addition to its historical and natural significance, the Felsnekropolis von Pantalica is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its cultural and archaeological importance. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in ancient civilizations and their burial practices.

To fully experience the site, it is recommended to take a guided tour, where knowledgeable guides can provide more insight into the history and significance of the Felsnekropolis. There is also a small museum on-site, where visitors can learn more about the artifacts and archaeological findings from the area.

In conclusion, Felsnekropolis von Pantalica in Pantalica, Italy is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, culture, and nature. Its impressive tombs, stunning views, and rich history make it a truly unique and unforgettable destination.

The site consists of two separate elements, containing outstanding vestiges dating back to Greek and Roman times: The Necropolis of Pantalica contains over 5,000 tombs cut into the rock near open stone quarries, most of them dating from the 13th to 7th centuries BC. Vestiges of the Byzantine era also remain in the area, notably the foundations of the Anaktoron (Prince’s Palace). The other part of the property, Ancient Syracuse, includes the nucleus of the city’s foundation as Ortygia by Greeks from Corinth in the 8th century BC. The site of the city, which Cicero described as ‘the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all’, retains vestiges such as the Temple of Athena (5th century BC, later transformed to serve as a cathedral), a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheatre, a fort and more. Many remains bear witness to the troubled history of Sicily, from the Byzantines to the Bourbons, interspersed with the Arabo-Muslims, the Normans, Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty (1197–1250), the Aragons and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Historic Syracuse offers a unique testimony to the development of Mediterranean civilization over three millennia.

The Necropolis of Pantalica is a collection of cemeteries with rock-cut chamber tombs in southeast Sicily, Italy. Dating from the 13th to the 7th centuries BC, there was thought to be over 5,000 tombs, although the most recent estimate suggests a figure of just under 4,000. They extend around the flanks of a large promontory located at the junction of the Anapo river with its tributary, the Calcinara, about 23 km (14 mi) northwest of Syracuse. Together with the city of Syracuse, Pantalica was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.