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Church of S. Nicolao

Description

The San Nicolao curch is one of the most impressive and atmospheric of Ticino's many Romanesque churches. This benedectine church of the XII century (1168)  is the most ancient of the roman churches of the Leventina. The building is covered by granite and had been restored in 1945 by P. Mariotta.

Its external walls are decorated with Lombardic designs, while inside is a fresco-decorated choir placed above a beautiful triple-apsed half-sunken crypt.

The church was built in the first half of the twelfth century, governed by a Benedictine monastery. Its exterior is typically simple with rounded Lombardy arches - a series of small arches under the eaves, the south and west doors both decorated with rustic sculpture - the columns of the west door resting on carved animals, a typical Lombardy style. Some of the small carved heads on the Lombardy arches remain. But it is the interior which is absolutely stunning.