Elegant Padova -- known in English as Padua -- is home to an ancient university, a Basilica that is an important centre for pilgrims and a chapel containing one of the world’s greatest art treasures. Use this website to help you plan a visit to this fascinating northern Italian city and find your way to the other beautiful towns and villages in the Veneto that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Chiesa di San Nicolò

Romanesque church still has many original features

One of the oldest churches in Padua, the pretty Chiesa di San Nicolò, is tucked away in a square at the end of Via San Nicolò, a turning off Via Dante Alighieri.

An outstanding example of Romanesque architecture, Chiesa di San Nicolò was first mentioned in a document in 1088 when Bishop Milone donated it to the Convent of Saint Peter for the use of the monks.

Chiesa di San Nicolò is about 1000 years old
The church was dedicated to Saint Nicolas of Myra and later acquired some of the saint’s relics.

By the 12th century, San Nicolò was a parish church attended by many of the noble families in the city.

In the 14th century, the church was extended to the side to add the chapel of the aristocratic Forzate family. By 1546 Chiesa di San Nicolò  had 11 altars, many owned by the powerful families who worshipped there, and between 1660 and 1680 some baroque features were added.

The bell tower was rebuilt in the 19th century in Gothic style, but restoration work carried out in the 20th century meticulously preserved many of the church’s original features.

Among the art treasures inside Chiesa di San Nicolò  is an altarpiece by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo depicting the Sacred Family with Saints Francesca Romana and Eurosia. There are still traces of 14th and 15th century frescoes and there is a 15th century depiction of San Liberale by Jacopo da Montagnana, also known as Jacopo Parisato, an artist from Montagnana who was active in Padua during the 15th century.



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