Santi Nicolò e Cataldo

Church in Lecce

Santi Nicolò E Cataldo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Sailko

The Church of Santi Niccolò e Cataldo is a medieval church in Lecce, Italy. Together with its adjacent monastery, it was founded in 1180 by the Norman count Tancredi d’Altavilla, who later became King of Sicily. The construction of this church represents a significant innovation in architectural and stylistic design, establishing the “New Hydruntine Romanesque School.” This new style rejuvenated the architecture of Terra d’Otranto by blending Latin, Byzantine, and Epirotic elements with styles from beyond the Alps.

The stylistic models introduced by Tancredi influenced regional architecture for about two centuries, up until the construction of the Church of Santa Caterina a Galatina in the mid-14th century. These models even influenced the architectural lines of the Cathedral of Matera. Tancredi donated the complex to the Benedictine monks, who were succeeded in 1494 by the Olivetan fathers at the behest of Alfonso II of Naples. The Olivetan fathers remained until 1807.

In 1807, Napoleon established high schools in the complex, and it became the Liceo Palmieri, known at the time as the “National High School.” In 1870, the complex was converted into an asylum for the poor, and since the 1980s, it has housed the Faculty of Cultural Heritage.

The Santi Nicolò e Cataldo appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Lecce!

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Visiting Santi Nicolò e Cataldo

Address: Chiesa dei Santi Niccolò e Cataldo, Via Cimitero, Lecce, Province of Lecce, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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