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GELA is a city and port of Sicily in the province of Caltanissetta; it is located on a low relief on the coast, hemmed from an extensive shore, opposite to the Sicily sea, where Gela's river crosses the plain and goes to flow. Gela is of greek origin and was founded in 689 B.C.from the colonies of Rodi and Creta which the river's name comes from. Fighting against the cities surrounding it and winning, it extended his territory and founded Akragas (the old Agrigento) in 580 B.C.. In the FIFTH century Gela fell under the oppression of Cleandro, Ippocrate e Gelone who after conquering Siracusa, he moved there. In 456, Eschilo, a great greek poet retired and died in Gela ( the legend says the cause of his death was a testudo dropped from an eagle that was flying above him). In 405 B.C. the city was devastated by the cartaginesi and in 282 B.C. by the mercenary mamertini. Then, the people moved to Phintias (now Licata), so that the place remained deserted until the XIII century. In 1230 King Federico II of Svevia founded the present city which was called Terranova. In 1862 the name was changed to Terranova of Sicily and in 1927 the old name ( GELA )was re-established. Now Gela preserves, at north-east, the Capo Soprano's greek fortifications, with 300 m of walls(erected around 339 B.C.). Not far away you can find the thermae Hellenistics (from the IV-III century B.C.). At the opposite extremity of Gela rises the Acropolis, with the remains of a quarter from the IV century B.C. and two temples; near, there is the regional museum of archaeology, much of what has been found comes from the territory. The historic center preserves among others: the Main Church (Chiesa Madre) (XVIII-XIX century) and the Church of the Carmine (Chiesa del Carmine) (of the year 1514). Gela is an industrial center. It houses factories (petrol-chemicals,metal-mechanics and alimentary) and has notable commercial activity including a fish-market in the port.


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