St. Nicholas Church: A Gothic Treasure in Merano

Vicolo Passiria, 3, 39012 Merano BZ, Italy

St. Nicholas Church, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, is a magnificent Gothic hall church located in the heart of Merano, South Tyrol. This historic site is dedicated to the patron saint of merchants, entrepreneurs, and carters, and serves not only as a place of worship but also as a testament to centuries of architectural and artistic heritage. To help you plan your visit and make the most of this iconic landmark, here is a comprehensive guide.

The appropriate period for the march

Marco Rossi

Marco Rossi

Where to go for new impressions and emotions? To Italy! Mountains, sea, lakes, architecture, food, shopping, and entertainment are all things that you will find in this country. Travel is transformation, travel is the best thing you can do for yourself, travel is life! Don't wait - travel now!

Where to go for new impressions and emotions? To Italy!
Mountains, sea, lakes, architecture, food, shopping, and
entertainment are all things that you will find in this country.
Travel is transformation, travel is the best thing you can do for
yourself, travel is life! Don't wait - travel now!

Sections:

Architectural and Artistic Highlights

Gothic Grandeur

Construction of St. Nicholas Church began in 1302 and continued until the mid-15th century. The church features a richly decorated south facade, which faces the main market square. This facade is adorned with Gothic portals, a 14th-century statue of Saint Nicholas, and an impressive late 15th-century fresco of Saint Christopher.

Interior Masterpieces

Inside, the church boasts a ceiling fresco of the Trinity by Antonio Balestra, dating back to 1750. Above the Trinity, angels are depicted amidst clouds, with a priest wearing a stole, possibly the painting’s patron, to the left. In the right nave, visitors will find a canvas representing the Madonna Immacolata surrounded by Saints John the Evangelist, Margaret, Roch, and Sebastian, a masterpiece of the 17th-century Venetian school.

The Baptistery: A Wooden Marvel

The Baptistery, a remarkable wooden structure crafted in the early 19th century, features herringbone inlays made of woods of various shades, interspersed with laurel leaves on the dome. At the top, an ancient wooden statue of Saint John the Baptist from the 15th to 16th century is prominently displayed. The six rectangular panels adorned with flowers and brass stems reflect the Venetian artistic tradition of the 17th century.

Chapel of the Crucifix: A Hidden Gem

Built in 1939, the Chapel of the Crucifix houses an 18th-century altar with a contemporary marble crucifix. The walls feature remnants of a frieze depicting Sibyls and Prophets, accompanied by floral decorations and winged cherubs, created by Antonio Zago in the late 15th century.

How to Get There

Merano is easily accessible by car from various directions:

  • From the North: Via the A22 Brenner Freeway through Munich, Rosenheim, Kufstein, and Innsbruck.
  • From the West: Via the State Roads 40 and 38 through Ulm, Kempten, Füssen, and the Fernpass.
  • From the East: Via the A22 Brenner Freeway through Lienz and Val Pusteria.

Parking is available near the church, and the site is within walking distance from the city center.

Things Not to Miss

  • The Main Altar: Featuring works by Martin Knoller, Christoph Helfenrieder, and Martin Knoller.
  • Side Altars: The Last Supper and Adoration of the Child from 1793, and winged altars from 1500.
  • The Bell Tower: An 83-meter high structure with various architectural styles from different centuries.
  • Late Gothic Stained Glass Windows: Dating from the late 15th century.

Nearby Attractions

St. Nicholas Church is located close to the Passeggiate along the Passirio River and the Tappeiner Walk, offering beautiful views and a pleasant stroll through Merano’s historic and natural scenery.

Opening Hours: Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: Entry to the church is free. Donations are welcome to support the maintenance and preservation of this historic site.

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