Nicosia, Sicily

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Nicosia
Comune
Comune di Nicosia
Town hall
Town hall
Nicosia is located in Italy
Nicosia
Nicosia
Location of Nicosia in Italy
Coordinates: 37°45′N 14°24′E / 37.750°N 14.400°E / 37.750; 14.400Coordinates: 37°45′N 14°24′E / 37.750°N 14.400°E / 37.750; 14.400
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province Enna (EN)
Frazioni Villadoro
Government
 • Mayor Antonello Catania (since May 28, 2007)
Area
 • Total 217 km2 (84 sq mi)
Elevation 724 m (2,375 ft)
Population
 • Total 14,824
 • Density 68/km2 (180/sq mi)
Demonym Nicosiani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 94014
Dialing code 0935
Patron saint St. Nicholas of Bari
Saint day December 6
Website Official website

Nicosia (Sicilian: Nicusìa) is a village and comune of the province of Enna in Sicily, southern Italy. Nicosia, along with Troina are the northernmost towns in the province of Enna. The vicinity traditionally contained are salt mines and arable lands.

History[edit]

The origin of Nicosia is uncertain; Engio, Erbita and Imachara are the three cities of antiquity with which historians have attempted to identify Nicosia with, but there is no evidence that the mentioned towns are in fact Nicosia. The present name of the town suggests Greek origins: it is believed to get its name from Saint Nicholas (Νίκου Οίκος). Another theory suggests its a derivative of the Greek saying "City of Victory" (Νίκης Οίκος). The town is believed to stand on the site of the ancient Engynum. The modern town was founded by Byzantine colonists in 6th century. It expanded under the Arab domination and later under that of the Normans, who settled numerous immigrants from Lombardy and Piedmont, called "Lombards", giving rise to the Gallo-Italic dialect still spoken in the town and surrounds. King William II made Nicosia a royal city. It played an important strategic role, favoured by its position halfway between Palermo and Messina. It often gave hospitality to important figures, including Emperor Charles V.

Main sights[edit]

  • The Cathedral, built in 14th century over a pre-existing Norman edifice, is dedicated to St. Nicholas. The façade has a noteworthy 15th-century portal, while the interior houses a painting by Jusepe de Ribera. The campanile is from the 13th century.
  • Santa Maria Maggiore contains a 16th-century holy water stoup, the throne of Charles V, a fine marble polyptych by Antonello Gagini.
  • Church of St. Benedict (14th century)
  • San Biagio has paintings by Giuseppe Velasquez and a triptych by Antonello Gagini.
  • The Church of the Carmine boasts an Annunciation by Antonello Gagini.
  • The church of San Salvatore.

There are also remains of the Castle, in the upper part of the town.

Within the diocese is the ancient city of Troina, which should have been episcopal vues from 1087 to 1090.

See also[edit]