Church of St Nicola

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Church of St Nicola

The present little church dedicated to San Nicola, located in the homonymous district along the road that takes to Maniace and Cesaro’.

It was constructed in the years ’50 on the ruins of the ancient church described by B. Radice and destroyed by the air raids of the last war.

Constructed in the open country became pretty soon, due to the housing expansion in that zone, a parish seat (since the 9th of October 1986).

Too small to accommodate the parishioners of Sciarotta and San Nicola’s districts, one of the most populated Bronte’s areas, was substituted by a new church dedicated to Saint Agata and constructed nearby according to a project prepared by an architect from Bronte Gigi Longhitano.

«In the testament of father Matteo Uccellatore of 22 September 1720 and in the deed of Giovanni Mancani it is written that about fifty steps further from the church of St Nicola di Bari, placed downhill, in the St Nicola area, called once Zenia and corresponding now to Piano della Sena, there existed another church dedicated to the same Saint, which was buried by the lava of 1651 together with the St Antonino and St Pietro dell’Illichito churches.

Of this small church there is no mention in the 1574 pastoral visit or in the reveals. The district Zenia contained many vineyards and apple orchards, irrigated by perennial waters now disappeared.

IChiesa di Sant'Agata (Bronte)t was therefore the lava of 1651 that buried the old church of St Antonino and St Pietro, as later wrote the Musumeci about the 1832 eruption, and not the 1536 eruption as written by father De Luca in his Bronte’s History.

In the 1536 eruption possibly was buried the Purgatory church, whose site is not known. The lava flow of 1651 spread from SS. Cristo to Brigolo and down to St Nicola until Ponte Sciara.
This eruption scared so much the Bronte’s people that they decided to emigrate; but the Hospital rectors, fearing the land depopulation, tried to stop them by offering the feud of Gollia, which was not accepted.

In October of 1814 the jury and the Parish of Bronte asked for the erection of a new church in the district Sciarone, transferring in it the cult and the annuities of the St Nicola’s church.

This desire was ratified by the King with a dispatch of the 12th October 1814 that advised the Mons Archbishop of Messina. The craved for and conceded transfer however was not carried out and the Sciarone was left without a church.

The St Nicola statue is made of wood and caries this inscription: Ex charitate fidelium et ex industria Mr. Marii Messina anno 1793.

The small bell is of 1722.» (Benedetto Radice, Historical Memories of Bronte. Bronte 1926)

Why the new church was called Saint Aga­ta and not San Nicola?

Father Saitta, first parish priest of the church explains that “erecting a new church in that zone it was thought more oppor­tune to get Bronte clo­ser to the city of Catania and propose to the Christian citizens of Bronte the young martyr Agata example.”

We are not convinced. Are you?

In the picture above, the ancient church dedicated to St. Nicholas and (in the other photos) the new one dedicated to St. Agatha.

The current church dedicated to San Nicolò, located in the homonymous district at the foot of Bronte along the main road leading to Maniace and Ce­sarò.
It was built in the 50s on the ruins of the ancient church specialized by the Root, destroyed by the bombings of the last war.
Built in open company soon became, with the building expansion that has marked the area, the parish seat of Sciarotta (from October 9, 1986).
Soon "Santa Nicola" turned out to be too small to accommodate the faithful of the districts Sciarotta and San Nicola, two of the most populated areas of Bronte.
The then parish priest, Father Vincenzo Saitta, soon replaced him with a garage garage nearby and later, working as he himself, with a new church, erected nearby, designed by the three Bron­tese architects Gigi Longhitano, Meli and Paparo.

View with Google Maps:

Church of St. Nicholas

Church of Sant'Agata

Translated by Sam Di BellaITALIAN VERSION


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