The mother church

The most important church in Cammarata is the Mother Church dedicated to San Nicolò di Bari. The current church stands on the old area of ​​the ancient Mother Church which burned down in 1624; later it was demolished and on the same surface was built the current church completed in 1668. After a few years it was discovered that the current Church did not rise on another but on two others, including the Church of the Holy Trinity. Over the centuries it has been embellished with stuccoes made between 1700 and 1800 by the archpriest Raffaele Rizzo. There are many works and some come from the old church as the tomb of Prince Blasco Branciforte, who died in 1547 and then the "Ciborio" by Andrea Mancino made in 1490; the altar was built by Antonio and Isabella Abatellis as Altar of the Sacrament, where it remained at least until the construction of the new church. The Ciborium collects in a wonderful theological and artistic synthesis around the tabernacle, flanked by angels and surmounted by a canopy, the four Evangelists and the Fathers of the Church. The high dominates the figure of the Eternal Father; under the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion, the apostles Peter and Paul and in the center the inscription where it is said that under Francesco Branciforti in 1642 after the rebuilding of the church was placed there, having already been renovated in 1573 by Ercole Branciforti. Below there is a band where the twelve Apostles are represented with Mary and Jesus and in the last Saint Nicholas of Bari, protector of Cammarata. This altar is also called Retablo. Then there is the picture of the Buttafuoco dating back to 1598 and there are also other oil paintings of 1500, 1600, 1700 and 1800. There is the chapel of San Nicolò which, as mentioned earlier, is the protector of Cammarata and the party in his honor is celebrated on December 6th. In the chapel we find a golden wooden half-length that represents the Saint who encloses the relic in his chest. On the side walls there are two paintings that represent the miracles of the Saint (that of the Coppiere and that of the three children).  On the left, instead, we find a plaque of slate which bears an inscription: it is said that the Church was rebuilt in a much more beautiful form under Prince Branciforti and is ordered to preserve a "tabulam" of the Crucifix and San Nicolò, painted with singular mastery by order of the Abatellis in 1664. Inside the Church we can also find an organ in restructuring and the pulpit of 1600 then in Baroque style built by the Priest Giuseppe Castellano and the masters A. Cardillicchia and A. Maggio di Cammarata; in 2000, on the occasion of the Jubilee, it was restructured on commission of the Arc. D. Mario Albanese together with the bench of jurors where in ancient times took place the representatives of the City or the Jurors.

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We also have the altar of the Madonna dei Miracoli where we find a statue enclosed in a wooden bramante niche of pure gold, adorned with small but valuable paintings reproducing the birth of Mary and the marriage with Joseph. It is said that the prince had received the grace of Our Lady and so organized a fair in the streets of Cammarata to pay her tribute and during the second Sunday of October he made a tribute to her; subsequently the party continued to take place at San Giovanni Gemini and the second Sunday of October is still celebrated. In 1663 the canvas was realized by Michele Lapis of the altar of San Calogero whose festival is celebrated on the second Sunday of August. The characteristic of devotion is the bread that takes shape from the various parts of the human body as an ex voto for the healings attributed to the saint. The canvas represents Ignatius of Loyola and Francesco Saverio; in the background there is a glimpse of the village of Cammarata surmounted by the castle and under the coat of arms of the village with a woman who nurses the snake with the following words: "alios nutrit suos spernit" which means "feeds others, despises her". On the right in the central nave we find the tomb of Pietro Panepinto, a benefactor of the church that died in 1575; in the parish priest's office we also find his portrait. The man left all his goods to the church such as the water mill, which was used to grind the wheat, but a part was destroyed. Then there is a silver urn, still inside the office, made by Prince Branciforte and contains the relics of Santa Rosalia. Finally, under the altar there is a statue of a sheep that was used during the Easter to preserve the Eucharist; the key is kept instead by the priest and all the signs of the passion are inserted on it. While in the sacristy we find a painting where all the archpriests of Cammarata are listed.

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