Guarded in the town walls, the church of San Nicola in Locorotondo, is a small temple of simple elegance and artistic splendor. It was built in the second half of the seventeenth century on a pre-existing place of worship dedicated to the saint of Myra. The structure repeats the architectural model of the rural churches of Valle d’Itria with a simple façade, embellished by a tympanum with a small rose window, which leads to the single nave closed at the top with a barrel vault.
The welcoming geometry of the small church, the light reflected onto the white walls, and the vividly colored and fresh paintings of a recent restoration, leave people astonished. The vault is animated by Angeli Musicanti (Musical Angels) suspended in the blue sky, and below, the stories of the life of San Nicola are depicted.
The first fresco on the right represents the la Colonna miracolosa (miraculous column), or the marble column that miraculously arrived from Mira to Bari floating in the sea following the remains of the Saint. The column, of scarlet color, to which the painting refers, is physically guarded in the Basilica pontificia di San Nicola in Bari and for centuries has attracted the devotion of pilgrims, who come to touch it convinced of its thaumaturgical virtues. In fact, per tradition, St. Nicolas is a miracle worker and is also a protector of children, young brides, and sailors.
This article has been translated by Claudia Di Bonaventura, student of second year Italian at CLIC Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication, Rice University, Houston, Texas. Major- BA. Kinesiology- Health Sciences Concentration. Expected Graduation Year- 2021 (Sophomore)
Photo credits: Puglia Forever
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