Bari, Italy: Basilica of Saint Nicholas of Bari
About the real Saint Nicholas:
One of the world’s most beloved Saints, the story of Saint Nicholas has been blurred over time to where the original saint is lost in the telling. Yet, he was a real person, who lived in the city of Mrya (modern-day Turkey) in the fourth century. He was known for his generosity to the poor, especially for giving anonymously in the middle of the night. Hence comes our legend of Santa Claus.
After the death of Nicholas came the Muslim conquest of Turkey and so, in 1087, the remains of Saint Nicholas arrived here by ship and were transferred to the church in Bari.
About the Basilica of Saint Nicholas:
The Basilica was built to hold the Saints’ remains and also contains many works of art. Like many churches the outside is somewhat plain but the beauty inside makes this one of Italy’s best.
One of the things that makes the Basilica unique is that it hosts both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox services.
The Catholic Mass is held in the main church upstairs and the Orthodox in the crypt below.
Traveling to Bari & the Basilica of Saint Nicholas:
The city of Bari is a large port served by many ferries. It also has an airport served mainly by flights originating in Italy. Flights from other countries normally stop first in Milan or Rome before continuing on to Bari.
You reach Bari from Rome in about 4 hours on one of the high speed trains. Be aware that the local trains can take up to 7 hours and involve changing trains and travel part way by bus. It is about one mile from Bari Centrale station to the Basilica.
Address: Basilica San Nicola Largo Abate Elia, 13 70122 Bari
GPS coordinates: 41° 7′ 49.1304” N, 16° 52′ 12.4968” E
Tel: +39 080.57.37.111
Click here for the official website of St. Nicholas of Bari.