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The Italian city of Syracuse located on the eastern coast of Sicily also suffices as the capital of the Syracuse province. It has been known for its beauty from the early days and to protect and safeguard its interests, UNESCO has declared the ancient center of Syracuse a World Heritage site.
Syracuse has been inhabited for many centuries and is known to have been founded in 734 or 733 BC. Greek settlers led by Archias referred to it as the Sirako. The hub of the ancient city was the tiny island of Ortygia. The natives did not pose any opposition to the new settlers and its prosperous growth ensured it made its mark as the most powerful Greek city in the Mediterranean for quite a while.
It saw changes in leadership and dictatorship and began to enjoy the virtues of cultural indulgence from the early days. Syracuse was so powerful that it soon clashed with the Carthaginians, rulers of the Western part of Sicily. The expansion of Syracuse continued and it even went to war against Athens. Syracuse allied with a general from Sparta and rendered Athens at the receiving end.
Though Syracuse did lose some of its popularity it continued to be the capital of the Roman government of Sicily. It also maintained its as a port of trade between Eastern and Western regions of the Roman Empire. Saint Marziano was the first bishop of the city. Syracuse has even witnessed 2 centuries of Muslim dominance. It still flourished as a cultural and artistic center and the famous Ibn Hamdis a 12th century Sicilian poet resided here.
As such Syracuse still showcases architecture of varied rules. The palaces, mosques, forts and other monumental structures are many. There's true heritage to be witnessed and one can almost trace the past through the city roads.