Built in the 12th century, the Church of St. Nicholas has a sober facade with a beautiful gothic portal flanked by two imposing pylons supporting an enormous cornice. Inside the church, which has a single nave, the austere simplicity typical of the Cistercian style pervades. The monastic order was indeed founded on the principle of austerity. In one of the chapels located to the right of the main entrance a sculptural masterpiece of the Roman era is exhibited: the famous Sarcophagus of Phaedra. With perfect lines and balanced proportions the bas-reliefs on all four sides depict the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra in meaningful illustrations evoking a sense of wonder and compassion for the tragic story of the two lovers, annihilated by unrequited love. A second chapel hosts a lovely sculpture of the Madonna and Child by Gagini. Also admire the crucifix of “The Lord of the Ship” which inspired the famous playwright and Nobel prize winner Luigi Pirandello to write his theatrical drama entitled “The Festival of the Lord of the Ship”, a humorous and grotesque single act which illustrates the contradictions between sacred and profane in human nature.
The Church of St. Nicholas is located next to the Archaeological Museum “Pietro Griffo” and on the side facing Roman Hellenistic Quarter.
The parking area adjoining to the “Pietro Griffo” Regional Archaeological Museum is recommended.
The Church of St. Nicholas is open during religious services.
Open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Church of St. Nicholas is free entry.
A voluntary contribution is welcome
Church of St. Nicholas: contacts for information and visits during other than those indicated
Tel. +39 0922596480
Tel. +39 3385416701
The following coordinates indicate the point of interest
N 37° 17' 47.22''
E 13° 35' 21.34''