Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari in Syracuse

Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari in Syracuse

trolvag - CC3.0


 Via Luigi Bernabò Brea - Siracusa (SR)

The Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari was among the first to be built following the expulsion of the Arabs and the restoration of the Christian faith. The small church, located at the entrance to the Archaeological Park of Neapolis , is an 11th century Norman construction.
The church, built on a rocky crag, has a single nave with a semicircular apse, slit windows and small lateral access portal. It develops, in part, on a construction with a rectangular plan, with a transversal development compared to the church: a Roman period pool dug into the rock, set on a Greek age latomia, divided by fourteen massive pillars into three naves covered by barrel vaults. The pool, originally, had the essential function of a water tank, with plastered walls, and was connected to the water supply system of the Roman amphitheater through an underground canal. It was created by truncating and covering a stretch of road embedded in the rock, which was the ancient access to the Latomia del Paradiso, and whose walls were covered with votive grooves dedicated to the cult of the heroized dead. Later, it underwent further tampering: in the early Christian and Byzantine age it was transformed into an underground church and, ultimately, it was used as a crypt of the church above. Some caves, one of which was originally decorated with frescoes, today no longer distinguishable, most probably constituted the tombs of Christian martyrs.

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