The Russian Church of Bari, with its typical green dome, stands out in the Ca

Corso Benedetto Croce, 130, 70125 Bari BA, Italia

Simona Bertolaso



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The Russian Church of Bari, with its typical green dome, stands out in the Carrassi district. It was built by the architect Aleksej Viktorovic Ščusev. For centuries now, Orthodox pilgrims have been visiting Bari, a city located in southern Italy, to bow before the remains of the most venerated saint in the whole Orthodox world: St Nicholas the Wonderworker. Many famous people, such as Count B.P. Sheremetyev, Prince Alexis – the son of Peter the Great, the future Emperor of the Russian Empire Nicholas II, visited Bari, but also ordinary people from all over the empire came to Bari. Although the remains of the saint had been in the city for a long time, the real pilgrimage began to develop only between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. As the years went by, the influx of Orthodox pilgrims from Russia, Greece and Palestine became greater and greater. However, when they arrived in the city, they were disappointed because of the lack of an organizational apparatus to welcome them and the lack of Orthodox celebrations in the Basilica of St. Nicholas. Pilgrimages for Orthodox to holy places abroad were managed by the Palestinian Orthodox Association whose patron was Emperor Nicholas II himself. Twice a year, during the saint’s holidays, offerings were collected throughout the Russian Empire for the construction of a Russian church in Bari. In 1913 the foundation stone was laid. The design of the church in the architectural style of Pskov and Novgorod was assigned to the famous Russian architect A.V. Sciusev. During the First World War the construction work was not suspended and before the beginning of the Revolution in Russia, the church welcomed more than 200 Orthodox pilgrims. The construction was completed in the 1920s.

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