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rotonda
King of Sicily
Frederick II
Roger I
Ostrogoths
Carthaginian
Stupor Mundi
William II of Sicily
Roger II
Constance of Sicily
Emperor Henry VI
Federico II di Svevia
Peter II of Sicily
Arab Norman
William I of Sicily
Santa Maria della Rotonda
round church
Phoenician
rotunda
Italy
Roger
Arab
Roman
Sicily
Greek
Byzantine
Sizilien
Catania
Norman
Friedrich II
Barbarossa
Vandals
Hohenstaufen
Terme della Rotonda


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Catania - Santa Maria della Rotonda

Catania - Santa Maria della Rotonda
Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, has a long history, that starts around 8000 BC, but later there were Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek and Roman periods. After the Roman Empire had fallen apart the Vandals tried to take over the island but failed. Finally, the Ostrogoths took possession.

Mid of the 6th century Sicily was conquered by troops of the Byzantine Empire. After the advent of Islam, Sicily got attacked by the Arab forces. Raids seeking loot continued until the mid-8th century.

A Muslim army was sent to the island in 827 but met with much resistance. So it took a century to conquer it and even later revolts constantly occurred

In 1038 the Byzantines invaded the island supported by Norman mercenaries, led by Roger. In 1072, after the siege of Palermo, most of Sicily was under Norman control. Roger´s son Roger II raised the status +of the island to a kingdom in 1130. During this period, the Kingdom of Sicily was prosperous and powerful,

The court of Roger II became melting out of culture from Europe and the Middle East. This attracted scholars, scientists, artists, and artisans. Muslims, Jews, Greeks, Lombards, and Normans cooperated and created some extraordinary buildings.

In 1186 the last descendant of Roger, Constance of Sicily married Emperor Henry VI, the second son of Barbarossa. So the crown of Sicily was passed on to the Hohenstaufen Dynasty. Frederick II, the only son of Constance, was crowned King of Sicily at the age of four in 1198. He became "Stupor Mundi", one of the greatest and most cultured men of the Middle Ages.

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The complex is home of important archeological finds. Pre-existing traces of Eneolithic and Greek age have been observed here. Between the first and the second century AD a vast thermal plant was built, which remained in use until the 6th century, when it got transformed into the church "Santa Maria della Rotonda"in the Byzantine era.

From the ninth century on, a large cemetery area was built among the ruins of the baths. This was intensely used until the 16th century .

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