San Nicolò al Lido
|Church of Saint Nicholas
(San Nicolò al Lido)
Façade of the church.
San Nicolò al Lido is a church in Venice, northern Italy. It is located in the northern part of Venice's Lido, and houses the relics of St. Nicholas, patron of sailors (shared with Bari). Here is celebrated the traditional thanksgiving mass of the Sposalizio del Mare ("Marriage of the Sea").
The convent and the church, located to its main access ot the sea, date to the origins of the independent Venice, in the early Middle Ages.
The monastery and the church, already existing at foundation of Venice (but founded, according to a legend, by the family Zancaruol), stood at a strategic point for the nascent Venetian power: at the main access to the sea.
From here, in 996 and 998 sailed off the first Venetian expeditions against the Narentine pirates. Again from here, the May 9 the year 1000, the fleet led by doge Pietro Orseolo II took off for the campaign that led to the submission of Dalmatia to the republic of Venice. The event is still remembered in the Marriage of the Sea ceremony.
In 1100 here were laid the relics of the body of St. Nicholas, patron of the sailors, to which the church was already dedicated; they were stolen from Myra of Lycia. However, in Bari other relics of the saint were already put in 1089, they were laid in the tomb, by Pope Urban II in person.
Nicholas was proclaimed protector of the Venetian fleet.
In 1101 the crusade expedition finally came back to the Lido.
In 1202, the forces of the Fourth Crusade left from here.
In 1623 the relics of St. Nicholas were transferred from the church to the monastery to accommodate the construction of the new building, before being placed back below of altar.
The entire complex is managed by Franciscan friars.
Architecture and art
The church, with a single nave, is annexed to a convent and a cloister, all dating to the 16th century. The Baroque campanile was erected in 1626-1629.
The 3 bells in G major dates back to the 16th century.
The relics of Nicholas
The possession of the relics of St. Nicholas has long been disputed between Venice and Bari. Just in recent times some scientific inspections of the bones, have been held in Bari in 1953 (the first ever made) and in Venice (1992). Analyses found that the relics, divided between the two cities, belong to the same person: Bari has the larger bone fragments, while Venice has the smaller fragments, forgotten by the Bari's sailor-men.
The presence of the relics in Venice is little known, then the church is not a place of pilgrimage like in Bari, especially of Orthodox Russians for which Nicholas is critical.
Use in film and television
|This section requires expansion. (July 2010)|
- Zancaruol - Historical Dictionary Of All The Notebook-Venetian Patrician Families]