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Here you can find a virtual tour of Saint Nicholas Church. You’ll have a preview of the baroque decor and frescoes you can find inside this Gothic church.
Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari and Saint Peter Martyr
- Virtual Tour
- Capillas de los Costados
- Capilla de la Comunión
- Ceiling frescoes
If you enter Saint Nicholas Church from Calle Caballeros, like in this video, you’ll find yourself on the northern side of the nave. The nave, which is the main body of a church, is oriented west to east.
At the eastern end of the Church, you’ll see the presbytery, where the clergy officiate. All along the sides of the nave, you’ll also notice the chapels (five for each side).
At the western end of the Church, you’ll be able to see an additional chapel, the Capilla de la Comunión.
Above you, covering the entire length of the nave’s ceiling, is the stunning fresco that earned this Church the nickname of Sistine Chapel of Spain.
The High Altar, at the eastern edge of the Church, is crowned by a baroque altarpiece. The piece, made in gilded wood, is impressively lavish and richly decorated.
The vaulted ceiling of the presbytery is decorated with a fresco, just like the nave’s ceiling.
Capillas de los Costados
All along the two sides of the nave you’ll find the side chapels, five for each side. Each one is dedicated to honouring a different saint or holy sacrament.
As you can see in this video, the decoration of the chapels tends to be lighter in colour, airier and more delicate than the rest of the Church. Nonetheless, golden paint and richness in the ornaments are still present.
Capilla de la Comunión
The Communion Chapel is found at the foot of the Church, at the western end. It has two bays separated by an arch, and each bay is covered with a dome.
As you can see, the decoration is Rococo rather than Baroque, with gold, white, and pastels as the dominant colours.
The ceiling frescoes cover not just the vaulted nave ceiling, but also the lunettes (half-moon-shaped spaces on the sides of the ceiling). Scenes relating to the life of the saints are featured here, with Virtues (allegorical figures), angels, and sometimes biblical quotes.
On the left (northern) side we can find scenes from the life of Saint Peter Martyr, while on the right (southern) side, Saint Nicholas of Bari’s life is told. Faux openings in the ceiling suggest a view of the sky, and the figures are accompanied by allegorical images.
Towards the presbytery (the eastern end, where the clergy officiate), the two stories converge in a triumph of angels, religious figures, and faux architecture.
Here is a list of the illustrations that relate to Saint Nicholas.
- Saint Nicholas of Bari healing a sick old woman.
- Saint Nicholas endowing three maidens for marriage.
- Saint Nicholas bringing back to life a child cooked by his mad mother.
- Saint Nicholas resurrecting three children who had been cut up and cooked.
- Saint Nicholas confronting Arius at the Council of Nicaea.
- Death of Saint Nicholas.
Here is a list of the illustrations that relate to Saint Peter.
- Saint Peter as a child, preaching in front of his heretic uncle.
- Saint Peter becoming a Dominican.
- Saint Peter making a mute child speak.
- St Peter making a cloud move to shade him from the sun so that he can convert a heretic.
- Saint Peter’s martyrdom by sword.
- Miracle performed by Saint Peter after his death.
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