The San Nicolò Church in Padua is one of the oldest of the city. It is located in a quiet and peaceful square of the same name. It used to be attached to the Reggio Carrarese and was the favourite church of the city’s aristocracy.
San Nicolò Church Padua
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via San Nicolò – Padova. Tel.: +39 049 8752760. Opening hours: From 08.00 till 18.30; Saturdays and Sundays from 8.30 till 10.00 and from 11.30 till 19.00. Entrance is free.
History and description
The first version of the San Nicolò Church was built in 1088. This is indicated by some inscriptions on its foundation, which were found during restoration works. It was probably meant for the mortal remains of San Nicolò da Bari, who is better known as Santa Claus.
Nowadays the building style is mostly Romanesque. The church was often remodeled, however.
For a while, the church was attached to the Reggio Carrarese. The space in front of the church was a cemetery.
During the middle ages, it was the church which was visited by Padua‘s aristocracy. On the left exterior wall of the church you can still see the coats-of-arms of some of those families. In those days, many members of these families were buried inside the church. The sarcophagus of the Forzatè family is still located here.
On one of the walls bordering the Via San Nicolò two signs resembling the symbol for “infinity” (an “8” lying down) are visible. In reality these are two letters “S” that stand for Selciato di San Nicolò, and indicate the borders of the church’s private property.
Works of Art
The biggest highlight of the church is the Cappella delle Confessioni. Tiepolo‘s “Holy Family with the Saints Francesca Romana and Eurosia” adorns this chapel. Originally this painting decorated the Sant’Agnese Church, which is now deconsecrated. The angel at the feet of San Francesca was added by Giambattista Mingardi. Tiepolo painted the work in 1777, as is indicated on te sheath of the sword.