Mottola: la Chiesa rupestre di San Nicola a Casalrotto

Mottola: The Rock Church of St. Nicholas in Casalrotto

Coming down on the Bari to Taranto, Mottola is a small town in the province of Taranto rich in ravines and underground villages, evidence of ancient pilgrimages

Mottola la Chiesa rupestre di San Nicola a Casalrotto

La chiesa rupestre di San Nicola a Casalrotto è la chiesa più bella di Mottola e presenta uno dei cicli di affreschi più interessanti per qualità e per stato di conservazione della Puglia. La chiesa rupestre di San Nicola a Casalrotto rappresenta uno dei più importanti esempi dell’arte medievale pugliese, enthusiastically defined as the “Sistine Chapel of rock civilizations” for the frescoes inside, covering a time span from the late tenth century comes to the first half of the XIV.

Existing medieval documents have not clarified who ascriverne possession, If the Benedictine monastery of Sant'Angelo a Casalrotto, that of the Holy Trinity in Venosa, the bishop of Mottola, to other religious orders or even to private; né è confermata la dedicazione della chiesa a San Nicola di Myra. Certamente la chiesa aveva un ruolo centrale nell’organizzazione del territorio circostante, also for the fact of being in a great location along the Via Taranto, the ancient axis linking Taranto in Matera, along which you can come across numerous other rock settlements.

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The church has some of the typical characteristics of the rock churches of Taranto, such as the spacious hall, the presence of the triforium to divide the classroom by bema, the bema continuous transect.

The exterior of the church is open to the west and has a small forecourt where it overlooks the entrance to the cave, topped by an elegant bezel ring. The exterior of the church has a arcosolium, scavato nella facciata accanto all’ingresso. L’archivolto è profilato, as in the blind arches Interior, with a locking reason and is topped by a plastered niche with the theme of the three crosses of Calvary.

On the side walls of the cave church it is painted an important series of paintings dating from the eleventh century. The saints represented are dressed to the Byzantine.

Mottola la Chiesa rupestre di San Nicola a Casalrotto2

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