On the occasion of the solemnity of St. Nicholas, the monumental Royal Nativity scene was inaugurated in the homonymous church in the historic center of Trapani, which for some years has been set up in this church and which is the destination of numerous visits by faithful or simple enthusiasts of the ancient nativity scene art.
This year due to the restrictions imposed by the health emergency, the visit to the crib is subject to compliance with the requirements such as safety distance and access to the church with a mask, but in any case no less impressive than last year, since 2020 marks the 1750th anniversary of the birth of St. Nicholas.
For the occasion, the statue of the Saint, who has been a protector of the city of Trapani since 1792, is exhibited in the center of the proto-basilica for the veneration of the faithful.
The church of S. Nicola or, better said, the proto-basilic church is one of the oldest in Trapani and unfortunately today abandoned by the faithful.
Masses are rarely celebrated and it is not always open to the public or for tourists to visit.
Even if the protobasilica of S. Nicola is not a museum to visit, however it has some treasures that are worth visiting; in particular we point out the precious pipe organ, built in 1612, the largest Santini Collection in the world, the Roman Sarcophagus, the precious sculptures, the paintings and the precious works in marble.
Especially noteworthy are the Catacombs, the ancient crypts used for the burial of the dead.
Returning to the monumental nativity scene, it shows us the characters that animate it and testify to a 19th-century Trapani lost and now rediscovered, in an ideal path between Roman architecture and the ancient Drepanum, between faith and history, between past and present.
(Texts Giuseppe Puglia)
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