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Cattedrale di San Nicola il Pellegrino, Trani

November 2003






Crusader assembly port - major medieval Jewish town


Trani Cathedral (2003) (this page)

Trani Cathedral (2006)

Bronze Doors of Trani Cattedrale (c1180)

Templar Church of Ognissanti

Medieval Porto - Winter Dawn (2003)

Medieval Porto (2006)

Trani Restaurants & Hotel

Frederick II's Castello at Trani



November dawn breaks over the Norman Cattedrale dedicated to San Nicola il Pellegrino ("the pilgrim").  Nicola was a young Greek pilgrim who arrived exhausted in Trani in 1094 and died shortly thereafter.  His remains very soon became the object of veneration and the cause of miracles, and in 1099 he was made a saint and a start was made on a new cathedral to house his bones, which were moved there in 1143. 


This almost home grown Nicola contrasts with (and could have been a reaction to) the story of nearby Bari, where the church had earlier agreed with a bunch of entrepreneurial looters (euphemistically termed "seamen") to go 50-50 on the pilgrimage proceeds if they went and stole the bones of another San Nicola, this one the 4th Century bishop of Myra in Lycia (and latterly the Christmas chappie) which is present day central Turkey.  The entrepreneurs completed their side of the deal in 1087, but the church reneged on the 50 - 50 bit and took the lot - plus ca change ......... 


You will not find this "dawnside" view of the Cattedrale (which faces north east) in many books as most book photos seem to be taken after a good lunch when the sun has long swung round from here !  If you go there it's well worth the effort to rise before dawn and capture the sun rising on this most beautiful of seaside cathedrals.  And we did this twice on our next visit in 2006!


It is a sobering thought that over 300,000 dawns have broken over the buildings above, though the palazzo that became the Hotel Regia (below right on the right) is more recent.  In the background to the Cattedrale (above right) is one of Frederick's seaside castles, recently restored.



The shadows grow longer on a cool almost deserted November evening.  In summer it was 40 degrees this year (2003) (Italian tourists only for the hot months, Dutch, German etc for shoulder months, Dom Paradox in November).  




The nave (2006 photo) was de-baroqued in the early Twentieth Century showing, amongst other things, how the old capitals were monstered in order to make way for baroque "improvements".   Particularly sad as it is the only one of the Puglian Byzantine / Norman Cathedrals to have double columns, and in its early days its nave would have been as magnificent inside as it was outside.




The old brass doors now rest inside the Cattedrale in restored retirement, and in 2006 we came back for some more detailed photos.



The two crypts are both beautiful spaces.  The larger one shown on the left is under the transept - the traditional crypt spot in the old Puglian Cathedrals, where the transepts typically double as the east endand apse.  The second crypt (on the right) is under the nave.



Evening view, from the Hotel Regia in Trani, of the arrival of dinner - freshly caught fish!

More 2003 photos of the Medieval Port





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