Basilica di San Nicola


I was wandering the labyrinthine streets of Bari Vecchia when the narrow street I was following suddenly opened up into a much larger one. Emerging from the Str. Palazzo di Città, I found myself in a wide and empty piazza, looking skyward at the upward thrust of a pointed facade.  I was immediately drawn to the two stone oxen on either side of the elaborately craved main portal. On their backs, they seemed to support a band of intricately carved figures and religious symbols woven together in an arabesque style that arched along the wooden doorway. (I learned later that the pair of oxen had been repurposed from an earlier Byzantine structure.) Inside, the central nave is covered by a wooden ceiling which frames the beautiful ornate work of Italian painter Carlo Rosa. At the end of the central nave stands the high altar and the apse houses a marble bishop’s throne known as Elias’s Cathedral. On either side of the Basilica, there are wide staircases that lead down into the crypt which contains the relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of Bari. It also contains an Orthodox chapel and the most beautiful mosaic floors I have ever seen. 


Always with love,



9 thoughts on “Basilica di San Nicola

    1. You always make me smile which is something I need these days. Feeling a little down with all these changes happening. Loving my life in Italy but missing those I love. Looking forward to having them home soon. 😊❤️


  1. Glorious! Your montages of the details of this cathedral tumble delightfully down the screen and create a wry connection between modern Italian design in the Vespa scooter which draws a ‘buffo’ comparison with the stout Byzantine ox and the giant fellow who seems to be rather aggressively casting blessings upon the contemporary visitors reflected in the glass that encases him in another era.

    Liked by 1 person

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