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Basilica di San Nicola (Bari)


The work in order to realise the great Basilica di San Nicola, began a few months after the arrival of the remains of the saint in Bari in 1087. The building rises from a site which was previously occupied by “Castelellum Graecorum”, the magistrate’s court of the Catapani Byzantines . It was later abandoned after the Norman conquest and reclaimed on the occasion of the building of the church. The magistrate’s court , according to a Byzantine epigraph of 1011, contained a fortified and walled barracks with porticos, it was the official residence of the Byzantine functionary and different churches. In 1089 the crypt was completed among other things, work on the basilica was definitely finished and it was consecrated in 1167. The building is as powerful as a fort and is built in the shape of a Latin cross, with arms of contracted transept, divided into three naves by an imposing line of columns. Internally it has a women’s gallery and its characterised by its elegant facades , side by side with two towers which pre date the building and are unfinished, and by seven refined and decorated portals. At the top of the main entrance is a sphinx and it is surmounted by a small portico with two leaning columns on the back of oxen.
Many parts of the building were made by using recycled materials dating back to the 3rd and 6th centuries. From the inside one can admire , the “Cattedra” of Abbot Elia, masterpieces of sculpture of the 11th century, the ciborium canopy dating back to the 12th century and inspired by Roman designs, the Mausoleum of the Queen of Bona Sforza, Duchess of Bari and Queen of Poland (died in 1557) and erected by her daughter Anna in 1589.
On the right arm of the transept there is a wooden icon from the Cretan school of the 15th century, and on the left arm a table painted by Baetolomeo Vivarini in 1476. There is also the altar made in silver , by Napoleon’s goldsmith in the 1700’s  and the ceiling of the Basilica realised by Carlo Rosa in the second half of the 17th century.
In Mira it is said that from the urn of San Nicola , immediately after his death, that a liquid of such power poured out called myron. The first to speak about the “manna” of san Nicola was Giovanni di Amalfi in around 950, it is said that at the moment of the opening of the sarcoid, young Matteo one of the young sailors of Barese expedition who looking for the bones of the saint, immersed his hands in the liquid .
The people of Bari, in the course of time took custody of the “manna” and put in a bottle painted with the image of San Nicola and even today the liquid can be found at the sepulchre of thePatron Saint.

Orario feriale: 6.45; 16.00; Orario festivo: 6.45; 16.00

Orario feriale: 12.45; 19:00; Orario festivo: 13.45; 19:45

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