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Cathedral of St Nicholas

  • Address
    Largo Duomo 11, Nicosia (Italy)
  • WebNone
  • Visiting Hours
  • What to see
    Norman style cathedral, Porta del Paradiso


The Cathedral of Nicosia, dedicated to San Nicola di Bari, was erected in the 12th century under the reign of Frederick II of Aragon and was functional from 1340. Over the centuries, it has played a central role as mother church of the city and basilica under the patronage of Pietro II of Aragon. Throughout its history, the cathedral has undergone various stages, from the Spanish era to the Bourbon era, most notably its elevation to collegiate church by Pope Leo X in 1521 and its subsequent merger with the collegiate church of Santa Maria Maggiore in 1757. In contemporary times, it was declared a national monument in 1940 and received the title of minor basilica in 1967. Its architecture, with an impressive Gothic-Norman portal known as the “Porta del Paradiso”, reflects a rich ornamentation that makes it an important landmark on the route of the Way of St. James in Sicily.

The interior of the cathedral features an exceptionally painted wooden ceiling with the coats of arms of the noble families of Nicosia, such as the Ventimiglia, De Marchisio and Sabia marquises. This artistic treasure, realized in the 15th century, is a rarity in Sicilian painting and contributes to the historical and cultural importance of the cathedral. Its declaration as a national monument in 1940 underlines its relevance, consolidating it as a significant point of reference on the Way of St. James in Sicily.


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