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Augusta (SR)

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Augusta (Siracusa Province) is 34 km from Siracusa, alt. 15 m, on a little island in the Ionian Sea, north of the Gulf of Augusta, between the ports of Xifonio to the east and Megarese to the west, area 109.3 sq km, pop. 34,062, post-code 96011, tel. 0931. Economy: shipping, hydrocarbons, cement, plastic, citrus fruit.

The town first rose in the neighboring territory of Megara Hyblaea, which was founded by the Greeks of Megara in about 728 BC, and conquered and destroyed by Gelon, tyrant of Siracusa, in about 428 BC.

Rebuilt, very likely by the Roman Emperor Augustus, it was again destroyed in the Middle Ages by the Saracens. The Norman built a fortified port here, which Frederick II of Swabia in 1232 transformed into one of the most important military defenses on the eastern coast of Sicily; he also gave it its present name and enlarged it with the inhabitants of two towns which had rebelled and been destroyed, Centuripe and Montalbano.

It was captured in 1268 by the Angevins, after a long siege; it passed to the Aragonese and became the fief of some great Sicilian families (the Moncadas and the Chiaromontes). It was always an important military port, and it was further fortified in the 16th century because of the persistent harassment by the Turks. It was from Augusta that the Christian fleet which defeated the Turks at Lepanto in 1571 set sail.

The town was seriously damaged in 1676 during the Franco-Spanish war, and completely destroyed by the earthquake in 1693.

During World War II the Allied Forces landed at Augusta on 10 July 1943, starting the occupation of Sicily.

Of interest are the Porta Spagnola (built in 1631), the Castle (between 1231 and 1242), the Duomo (built in 1644), and the Town Hall (1699).

Churches (Siracusa Diocese) include the following:
Maria SS. Ma Assunta (Chiesa Madre)
Madonna del Buon Consiglio in S.Lucia
S. Francesco di Paola
S. Giuseppe Innografo
S. Maria del Perpetuo Soccorso
S. Sebastiano
Sacro Cuore di Gesu'
S. Nicola di Bari (Brucoli - suburb of Augusta)

Families researched in these records include the following:
di Franco

Links to other sites about Augusta include:
Augusta Photos
Italian Wikipedia
Italian Towns
Italian Postal Codes
Sicily Web
Sicilian Net

My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.

Order Italy Kathy Kirkpatrick

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© Kathy Kirkpatrick 1997-2008