S. Nicolò da Bari’ Church – Mother church
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|Parish church dedicated to S. Nicolò from Bari, one
of the oldest in the so-called Catania territory or Etnean, it was
founded on the place of the old church of S.Maria della Misericordia
and dates back to 1400.The first historical memoir is represented
by the Papal Bull of the Pope Eugenio IV who in 1446 ordered to contribute
to the revenues of the Collegiata in Catania known as S. Maria dell’Elemosina.
The Bishop Bonadies at the Prince Scipione II di Giovanni, of the
Captain, of the Jury and of the people’s instance decreed it the privilege
of Parish Council and Parish on 15 November 1667.
The buildings of the church were already completed
in 1690, as it points out from an inscription on a marble tablet,
embedded in the wall of the main portal made by lava stone together
with the window that is over it.
NICOLAUS COLITUR PELLENS
AC MENTEM DITANS
CORPUS ET IPSE TUUM
The coat of arms, by lava stone, was on the small
door in the west. In 1825, Mons Orlando, Knight of S. Gennaro consecrated
the Church, declaring S. Nicola from Bari Patron Saint of the town.
This event is remembered in the unique marble gravestone
that it is inside the main door:
LEONE XII P.M. E FRANCESCO I° REGE
TEMPLUM HOC COLLEGIALE
ILLMUS ERMUS DOMINUS FRATER DOMINICUS
ORLANDO PERISIORUM ORD. M.C.
SUB DIVI NICOLAI MYRENSISI AUSPICIIS
TOTIUS COMMUNIS PATRONI
AN. DNI MDCCCXXV
In 1866 all the institutive disposition of religious orders and
titles, were abolished by the law and in the same year also the
The Collegiate of Trecastagni was put down and all its properties
confiscated by the state. This church had a lot of richness, but
now there is a little or nothing; it raises magnificent on a hill.
The outside is decorated with characteristic lave works, the inside
has a nave and two aisles at Latin cross sustained by 12 columns
of the same black stone; also the arches of the columns in stone
are remarkable for the proportion and the beauty, the same for the
two triumphal arches that separate the nave from the apse and the
smallest ones of the little aisles.
There are also some altars with inlaid work of valuable marbles
and an excellent organ built in 1824 by Giovanni Patanè from Acireale.
Among the paintings we can note: S.Nicola from Bari by Zacco, Madonna
del Carmelo by Alessandro Vasta and S. Giuseppe by the Neapolitan
School (Caracci ?).
Statue of S.Giuseppe in carved wood, a S. Giuseppe’s painting,
both work of unknown sculptor of the 1700. The font is in marble
of Taormina and there is no date.
The current tower bell of further period, which replaced
the old one at dome-shaped is ancient (out of style), but well-proportioned
and towering for about 63 metres to the axis of the below Abate
Ferrara small square.
There are six bells, the biggest one is dedicated
to S.Nicola from Bari and to the Madonna della Misericordia and
it was melted in 1631 by the famous Domenico San Filippo from Tortorici.
The medium called the Bell of the New, melted again
in 1860 using the materials of another bell of the1623, work of
the Aran brothers; besides there is a small bell without any date
called of the Capitolo and the two clock bells, one is older than
the other made in 1856.
As in all the ancient parishes, also here there are
extensive cellars, today walled up, used to bury the dead persons.
In the neighbourhood the church there is the vicarage
with an added small Seminary.