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The basilica of St-Nicolas-de-Port

Near Nancy, a superb gothic monument is : the basilica minor of St-Nicolas-de-Port.

A little bit of history :

In 1087, Italian traders went to Myre to steal from it bones of holy Nicolas and to bring it back in Bari where they built a basilica. Some years later, in 1098, Albert de Varangéville leaves for Bari and brings back a phalanx in the city of Port which will become St-Nicolas-de-Port later.

We attribute to this relic numerous miracles, and in 1120 the dukes of Lorraine made holy Nicolas the patron saint of Lorraine

Actual basilica was constructed in 3 campaigns from 1481 till 1530. Having hard damaged by bombings in 1940, it should be restored and becomes a basilica miner by a bull of the pope Pius XII, on June 25th, 1950.

From the entrance of basilica, we are received by the patron saint : Holy Nicolas.



The entrance of basilica
The entrance of basilica
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Statue of St-Nicolas
Statue of St-Nicolas
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The first thing that you can notice when you are just entering in the basilica, it is its splendid luminance. The very big openings let enter a lot of light, which widen this building in already impressive proportions: 85m of length, 25m of breadth and a height under arch of about 30m.


Inside the basilica
Inside the basilica
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Inside the basilica
Inside the basilica
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Inside the basilica
Inside the basilica
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The basilica of St-Nicolas has got a particularity : It is not right. In effect, due to a lack of homogeneity of the ground, the architects had to tip it lightly. This incline articulates around a bored pillar which is at the level of the south arm of the transept.

The transept of basilica has another feature: it is supported by 2 columns of the single throw 21m high (it is the highest of France).


The bored pillar
The bored pillar
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The bored pillar
The bored pillar
(click on the photo to enlarge)

In front of this pillar, on the north arm of the transept, you can find the organ of the basilica. In fact, to protect the architectural homogeneity and not to mask the magnificent rosette signed Valentin Bousch, organ was not emplace at the bottom of the nave.

The instrument is recent because it dates only of 1994. It was however settled in a much more ancient sideboard (dating 1851). Consisted of 49 games and 4 keyboards, this organ possesses 3645 pipes.


The bottom of the nave
The bottom of the nave
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The rosette signed Valentin Bousch (1530)
The rosette signed Valentin Bousch (1530)
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Details of the organ
Details of the organ
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The organ
The organ
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The organ
The organ
(click on the photo to enlarge)

At the bottom of the choir, we can find decorated woodwork, and especially, former magnificent signed stained glasses Nicolas Droguet, representing the apostles and the saints. The high altar, quite marble, is as for him recent. It is surmounted by the tabernacle, surrounded with 6 candlesticks.


The choir of the basilica
The choir of the basilica
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The high altar and the candlesticks
The high altar and the candlesticks
(click on the photo to enlarge)

arms of the basilica
arms of the basilica
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The parasol, the emblem of basilicas
The parasol, the emblem of basilicas
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Among the chapels which surround the nave, we find naturally a chapel dedicated to the Patron saint. On this chapel, is a reliquary containing a statuette of Holy Nicolas, as well as a phial closing some oil got back by the sepulchre of the Saint during the opening of its grave.


Chapel dédicated to holy Nicolas
Chapel dédicated to holy Nicolas
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The reliquary
The reliquary
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Détails of the reliquary
Détails of the reliquary
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Now, it is the time to leave the basilica and to throw a last glance on its tours...


The south tower
The south tower
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The south tower
The south tower
(click on the photo to enlarge)

A gargoyle
A gargoyle
(click on the photo to enlarge)






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