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coat of arms
Gela (Italy)
Country Italy
region Sicily
Free community consortium Caltanissetta  (CL)
Local name Gela
Coordinates 37 ° 4 '  N , 14 ° 15'  E Coordinates: 37 ° 4 '0 "  N , 14 ° 15' 0"  E
height 46  m slm
surface 276 km²
Residents 74,075 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 268 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 93012
prefix 0933
ISTAT number 085007
Popular name Gelesi
Patron saint SS. Maria dell'Alemanna
Website Gela

Gela is a town in Caltanissetta consortium of municipalities outside the region Sicily in Italy with 74,075 inhabitants (December 31, 2019).

Location and dates

Gela is located on the Mediterranean Sea , 84 kilometers from Caltanissetta , the capital of the Free Community Consortium, and 95 kilometers south of Catania . It can be reached by rail from Syracuse and Caltanissetta.

The European route 45 ends in Gela .

Gela is a port city and was the center of the oil refinery . The refinery closed in 2015. The area is still used by Eni as a storage facility.

Mayor of the city has been Domenico Messinese, M5S , since May 2015 , who was expelled from the party in December 2015 because he refused to comply with the party-internal agreements to pay 30% of the respective salaries.

The neighboring municipalities are Acate ( RG ), Caltagirone ( CT ), Butera , Mazzarino and Niscemi .


Gela was once one of the most important Greek settlements in Sicily. Around 688 BC The city was founded by Doric settlers from Rhodes and Crete , 45 years after Syracuse. It was named after the Gela river. Large parts of Sicily were Hellenized from Gela and Akragas was founded from here . Archaeological research has unearthed a large number of artifacts in and around the village, which are on display in the Archaeological Museum of Gela. Both archeology and ancient literature provide excellent sources on the area's early history.

Gelo , son of Deinomenes from the family of Deinomeniden was in the 5th century. BC regent in Gela and Syracuse. He was in command of the cavalry when the tyrant Hippocrates of Gela in 491 BC. BC died and Gelon was his successor. 485 BC When he had seized the opportunity to become tyrant of Syracuse, he withdrew his attention from the city and handed it over to his brother Hieron , who in turn gave him 478 BC. Followed as the tyrant of Syracuse.

Aeschylus died here in 456 BC. In the year 405 BC Gela was conquered, plundered and destroyed by Carthage . Gela was then rebuilt, but in 282 BC. Chr., According to a current historical interpretation, by the Mamertines again and this time completely destroyed. Phintias of Akragas settled the surviving inhabitants in what is now Licata .

In 1233 the city was re-founded by Emperor Friedrich II under the name Terranova di Sicilia . It kept that name until 1928, when it was restored to its original name.

Gela had its own airfield ( ) until 1962 , which was used for military purposes together with three other neighboring airfields during World War II . Because of their importance, they were a primary Allied target during Operation Husky in 1943 . The city of Gela was conquered by the Allies on July 10, 1943, making it the first liberated city in Italy.

In 1956, oil sources were discovered in the vicinity of Gela and the townscape is today characterized by refineries, industrial plants and new housing estates. In addition, the city developed into a stronghold of the Mafia .

Former mayor Gelas Rosario Crocetta , now governor of the Sicily region, is actively fighting the mafia. So was z. For example, in the summer of 2005, the mayor deposed the management of the Gela Calcio soccer club , shortly before the soccer club's president was arrested for extortion, drug trafficking and mafia contacts. Today Gela is considered a city with the toughest anti-Mafia laws in Sicily.

coat of arms

The city's coat of arms shows an eagle with outspread wings on a red background, standing with its legs on two Doric columns. A crown hovers over the bird's head. The eagle symbolizes the reign of Frederick II , King of Sicily . The original inscription Heraclea civitas antiquissima , which referred to the ancient origins of the city, was removed in the 18th century.


From a historical point of view, the districts of Molino a Vento and Capo Soprano are particularly interesting.

The Greek Acropolis was in Molina a Vento . Settlement remains from the 7th century BC were found here. And two Doric temples consecrated to Athena . Nearby is the Archaeological Museum, founded in 1958, with an extensive collection of ancient coins, with Corinthian and Attic vases and terracotta statues. The parish church Chiesa Madre from the 18th century was built among other things from the stones of the temple in Molino a Vento.

In Capo Soprano there are remains of the 12 kilometer long city wall, which was built at the end of the 5th century BC. Built from limestone blocks and after 339 BC. Was raised with unfired bricks. The remains of the wall were buried in the sand of the dunes and were only exposed again through excavations. The remains of three watchtowers have also been preserved from the fortification. In addition, the remains of a necropolis from the 5th century BC were discovered. Chr. And a horseshoe-shaped thermal building with seat tubs in the Greek style.

The castle Castelluccio from the 14th century is visible from afar on a hill 7 km north of Gela.


  • Classic tragedies are performed in the archaeological excavations in summer.

sons and daughters of the town


  • The dragon slayers of Sicily. Citizens defy the mafia. TV report, 2008, 30 min., Script and direction: Karl Hoffmann and Werner Zeppenfeld, production: WDR , first broadcast, November 27, 2008, summary ( memento of February 3, 2009 in the Internet archive ) by the WDR
    portrait of two mafia opponents in Gela : the communist mayor Rosario Crocetta and the television journalist Pino Maniaci, who broadcasts daily reports on the mafia with a small television station (Telejato) and with the help of his family .


  • Giovanni Altamore: Economia e società in Terranova-Gela (dalla fondazione ad oggi). Saggio storico. Terzo Millennio Ed., Caltanissetta 2001, ISBN 88-8436-022-6 .
  • Elena Ciccarello, Marco Nebiolo: Fuga dall'illegalita. Gela, i cittadini, le leggi, le istituzioni. EGA Editore, Torino 2007, ISBN 978-88-7670-628-8 .
  • Pietro Griffo: Gela. Fate of a Greek city in Sicily. Echter-Verl., Würzburg 1964.
  • G. Kenneth Jenkins: The coinage of Gela. de Gruyter, Berlin 1970 (ancient coins and cut stones, 2).
  • Rosalba Panvini: Gelas . Storia e archeologia dell 'antica Gela. Soc. Ed. Internazionale, Torino 1996, ISBN 88-05-05501-8 .
  • Carmela Raccuia: Gela antica. Storia, economia, istituzioni. Le origini. Società Messinese di Storia Patria, Messina 2000, ISBN 88-87617-40-6 .
  • Emanuele Zuppardo-Salvatore Piccolo: Terra Mater. Sulle Sponde del Gela greco. Betania editrice, Caltanissetta 2005, CIP Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana "Alberto Bombace" 937.8 CDD-20.

Web links

Commons : Gela  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. E. Zuppardo-S. Piccolo, ibid , pp. 162-163.
  3. Gela Airfields on
  4. "Telejato: Television against the Mafia" ( Memento of the original from January 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, November 18, 2008. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /