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Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari (Alcamo)

San Nicolò di Bari
Chiesa San Nicolò di Bari (Alcamo).jpg
The façade
Basic information
Location Alcamo, province of Trapani, Italy
Municipality Alcamo
Territory Alcamo
State Italy
Province province of Trapani
Region Sicily
Architectural description
Architect(s) Girolamo Vicchiuzzo
Founder Pietro Mastrandrea,
Groundbreaking 1558

The Church of San Nicolò di Bari was a Catholic church located in Alcamo, in the province of Trapani.

In 1430 there already existed a Church with this name in Alcamo in 1430 and the Liotta family had the patronage on it. In 1558 Nicolò di Gregorio, one of their descendants, gave Pietro Mastrandrea, the Rector of the Confraternity of Bianchi, the permission to demolish the ancient Church and build the present one.

Since 1896, after the dissolution of the Company, the Church hosted the seat of Monte di Prestiti "Filippi" from the Congregation of Charity, that destroyed the altar in order to put a safe there.

Deconsacrated since the middle of last century, today the Church is the seat of URP (Public Information Office) and the Tourist office.

It is a charming example of the architecture of the beginning of Renaissance, having a façade embellished by a double lancet window ending with a denticulate cornice; it was realized by Girolamo Vicchiuzzo, an architect and carver from Palermo. During the last century they added a fake balcony; the finely carved small column at the corner of the façade is very remarkable.

There is one nave, with two bays and a crossed vault: on the high altar there was placed a painting representing San Nicholas made in 1599 by Narciso Guidone, a painter from Trapani, which later got lost.

Originally it was called Confraternity of Mercy and the Most Holy Crucifix, or the Mount of the Most Holy Charity: its founder was the nobleman Pietro Mastrandrea; after his death the Confraternity had the patronage on the Church, given by Nicolangelo de Gregorio in 1567.

Afterwards it was called Compagnia dei Bianchi and was aggregated to the Arciconfraternity of San Giovanni Decollato, Rome ]; its brethren belonged to nobility and they wore “a white sackcloth and visors” with the emblem of the Most Holy Crucifix on their shoulders. The Company had the following scopes and duties:

  • Visiting the poor prisoners, striving for their release with the financial support of people too.
  • Protecting the confessed criminals, comforting them before death, and bringing them to the burial place on their shoulders.
  • Burying poor people, accompanying them with some priests.
  • Visiting the poor sick people who were in hospital, helping them during meals and serving them with a spirit of charity.
  • Carlo Cataldo: Guida storico-artistica dei beni culturali di Alcamo-Calatafimi-Castellammare Golfo p. 61; Sarograf, Alcamo, 1982
  • Carlo Cataldo: La conchiglia di S.Giacomo p. 85-86; Campo, Alcamo, 2001
  • Carlo Cataldo: Il pane della libertà p. 17; Campo, Alcamo, 1999


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