Sunday, May 6, 2012

Basilica San Nicola - Bari, Italy (May 9th, 1087 Anniversary)

Basilica San Nicola
Bari, Italy
The Basilica at Night
Unless otherwise stated images courtesy: Sacred Destinations
The Battle of Mantzikert, fought in 1071 between the Roman Army (Byzantine) and the Seljuk Turks, had many long reaching effects. At the defeat of the Roman Army it left the most Christian land the world had ever had, Asia Minor, totally open for Turkish occupation. That was the big story. 
The Translation of St. Nicholas' relics from the Roman/Greek/Lycian city of Myra to Bari, Italy is one of the many smaller events that occurred because of that battle. It occurred 16 years later in 1087.
St. Nicholas' Tomb in Bari
Photo courtesy: GFDL
There is much documentation about this famous event (even William of Malmesbury and Orderic wrote about it) but the best is that written shortly after the arrival of St. Nicholas' sanctified remains in Bari on May 9, 1087 by the young  cleric, Nicephorus.
According to him the monks who were in charge of guarding Nicholas' tomb in Myra had been "visited" by Nicholas in a vision a year earlier and he had warned them that he would be allowing the transfer of his relics to another location.

The monks at Myra said to the men from Bari, “But we know this for a fact from the tales of men of old and also from our own experience: that many emperors and other potentates have done their best to carry out what you now plan; but they had no luck because the saint of God was unwilling. [Cf. Magnentius 48]. Yet perhaps it may happen through you, because the confessor of God himself last year warned us in a vision that his abode would be moved elsewhere."
The Nave Looking East to the Apse
Photo courtesy: Paradoxplace

The Crypt
Photo courtesy: paco CT
The fact that Bari should be "chosen" by St. Nicholas as his new "home" shouldn't come as a surprise. Bari was at that time still mainly a Byzantine area: It wasn't really too different from his homeland. And... unlike the Greek lands of Asia Minor, The Peloponnese, Epirus, Thessaly, Macedonia, the Greek Islands, etc Bari would never fall into the political hands of those who did not believe in the birth of the incarnate Lord, Jesus Christ. 
The West Facade
Photo courtesy: mark-turner
Like Myra was for the first c. 800 years after Nicholas' death so Bari has been ever since: A place for those who believe in the Son of God, to be edified, encouraged and healed.
Looking West to the Entrance 
Photo by: gengish
It is a job the custodians of this great basilica have taken seriously - and performed beautifully - for the last 925 years.
Pilgrims at the Tomb of St. Nicholas in Bari in c 1425
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Gentile da Fabriano 
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
And Pilgrims Outside the Basilica Today...
Image courtesy: Demotix

Please visit the Basilica's fabulous website for more information. You will be in for a treat!


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

The Basilica is gorgeous and the inside is stunning. A great find and a lovely post. Diane

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Lois Evensen said...

What a beautiful place. Fascinating history. I always enjoy learning from your posts. Nice to see you here again. :)

Sara said...

So interesting... loved learning about this! Great post :)

Ming said...

Hi Ann. This basilica is absolutely beautiful and the story behind it as well. Hope you are doing well and thanks for sharing this post.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Thank you for a very informative and well researched post.

God bless you Ann.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Sweet Ann!

How are you today dear heart? Thank you for coming over to see me today. May your new week leading up to Mother's day be filled with love. Anita

Madi and Mom said...

Hi Ann we do so enjoy your St Nicholas post!! Hugs to you and Edward
Madi and mom

George said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful basilica and its fascinating history. I was unfamiliar with much of what you shared, but I truly enjoyed learning how the relics arrived in Bari.

K9 Katastrophie said...

Beautiful! And thanks for sharing!


Ann said...

gorgeous, inside and out. Love hearing all the history behind it as well

June said...

Hi Ann,
I have missed coming here and reading your posts dear friend. This basilica is an amazing structure. Just beautiful!

I hope you are enjoying a lovely Spring Ann. Things are a little ahead her, but we are still getting frost at nights.
sending hugs...

Rayanne said...

I really enjoyed reading your post! Love info and photos like this! Thank you!! Much love, Rayanne

Junibears said...

A wonderful post dear Ann, with so much detail. I love hearing the history of all these beautiful churches you show.
Thank you for your visit. Love and Hugs. June xx

Ola said...

amazing interiors!

Life and travelling

Stacey said...

Dearest Ann!
It's been eons since I visited! How are you? The architecture of this Basilica is stunning. All the arches are amazing! Beautiful history too. Have a great Monday! XX

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Ann
Thank you so much for your visit.
You know, I had not even thought about those eggs at easter... You are right! They do remind me of them also...
Now this beautiful church... You know how much I love architecture, this is exquisite. Truly enjoyed the history on this particular church.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Remington said...


Draffin Bears said...

Hi Ann,

The Basilica in Italy is magnificent and how beautiful it looks at night, lit up.
I enjoyed reading about the history always great to come and visit you and many thanks for visiting me.

Happy week

Victorian1885 said...

Hello Ann
Thank you for sharing this interesting post. I love stopping in for a visit!

Michele said...

simply gorgeous photos you've shared as always along with a wonderful historical piece. i haven't been by for awhile so i am excited to see you have a devotional coming out this fall! wow! i'll be watching for that. you are really just wonderful. xo

Pat said...

Gorgeous basilica and wonderful history. Thank you for sharing xx

Rebecca said...

Next year my hubby and I hope to go to Europe for our 35th anniversary. I would love to see this gorgeous Basilica in person....

Thank you for visiting bless me.


Elaine said...

Interesting and beautiful!

GrandmaK said...

As always you have given a most insightful and interesting commentary. The pictures are so very lovely! Have a grand week! Cathy

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Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Ann, thanks so much for you kind thoughts and condolences, much appreciated. Diane

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

What a beautiful church!