Pure Baroque

3 Apr

The Cathedral of San Nicolo is on the main street of Noto among other baroque churches and palazzi. But from the moment we entered, the feeling was different. Instead of the gilt, chandeliers and intense colors, this church of baroque architecture is completely white.

The calm and purity of the white contrasts with the religious art within and leads to contemplation of the meaning of the church rather than its opulence.

The symbols of Catholicism here are unexpected. Unlike many other churches of this era paintings are few. Instead there are rough modern sculptures speaking out against the simplicity of the white.

Again, unlike the crimson-hued scenes of many Baroque ceilings, San Nicolo is pastoral and light.

Joan of Arc often portrayed as a armor-clad warrior, is a simple country girl albeit with a sword.

Contributing to the pure feeling of the church is its size. The Cathedral of Noto has the dimensions of a basilica, around 60 to 70 feet in its stone vault with arches almost as tall. People seem insignificant in comparison, true to the religious philosophy of the insignificance of man in relation to God.

As we exited the church we moved from the darkness toward the light thrown by the massive open doorway. And there in the sunlight were the most extraordinary bronze doors sculpted with scenes from the Bible.

The experience of sharing this church was moving, a place inspiring prayer.


4 Responses to “Pure Baroque”

  1. Terry Murphy April 3, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    Isn’t it wonderful to find such treasures in unexpected places?! I like this place. One unrelated question: How did you get to Sicily? We’ve had snow. While driving back from ABQ Saturday night I ran into a “white-out” on the south side of town. We drove to ABQ that morning with the car covered with snow. More perhaps tonight or tomorrow night.Terry

    • Jill April 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

      Hi Terry, We took a trimaran passenger ferry from Malta. Crossing the ocean between the two countries only takes about 2 hours. Weather here is springlike, warm in the sun, cool in the shade. Take care in those white-outs. Jill

  2. Marty Farnsworth April 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

    Thank you, Jill and Dana, for this thoughtful appreciation of something beautiful. I can see how writing and photographing for this blog deepens your travel experience! Marty

    • Jill April 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

      Having you with us helps us to see with a new perspective.

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