Church of Saints Paul and Bartholomew
History and museums
The Saints Paul and Bartholomew'Church is made in 17th century baroque style and located in Alcamo, in the Italian province of Trapani.
In 1533 Don Adamo Morfino, further to a vow promise, started the construction of a hospital for sick and incurable people with a contiguous chapel dedicated to Saint Paul in Conversion, which was then situated at the end of the present Corso VI Aprile (called "Corso Imperiale" at that time). This building, necessary because of the high number of inhabitants requiring medical treatment, wasn't entirely completed and was stopped in 1590 because there were no funds.
In obedience to will of the bishop of Mazara of the time, since 1615 they began the construction of the Parish Church of "Saint Paul in Conversion" by enlarging the previous chapel of Saint Paul in Conversion. The same bishop got to build, simultaneously, the Church of the Holy Trinity which in 1639 was aggregated to the first one to remedy the lack of income.
In 1689 the Church was demolished and rebuilt thanks to the believers' offerings; its construction was completed in 1692. Afterwards, as there was money availability given by some believers (in particular the rich owner Mariano Balli), the Church was further enlarged (1702-1705), and they finished the dome.
Between 1775 and 1809 they completed the façade, built the Holy Sacrament's side chapel, the chapel of Madonna of Miracles (Alcamo's patron saint) and an anti-sacristy. During this period (in 1778 to be precise) a copper clock was also placed on the bell tower in the left side of the façade (looking from the outside), replaced in 1846 with a steel one and definitely removed in 1910 as it didn't work any longer. In 1916 the other clock of the bell towers on the façade was then restored.
After the 1968 Belice earthquake, they restored some parts of the façade, removing the lime and the plaster which had been added during the other maintenance works done in the past.
The church, with a Latin cross plan, has got three naves, with a door associated to each one in the façade (a central and two side ones).
On the façade, realized on a design made by Emanuele Cardona, there are two bell towers, with four bells weighing 20 quintals on the whole, one of them was used for the running of the clock which does not exist any longer.
The naves are divided by two rows of four monolithic marble columns from monte Bonifato which are leaning on quadrangular bases. The apse has got an eye window, where they added a wrought iron cross in 1927.
Inside the Church there are the Baptistry and two altars in the smaller naves (the altar of Madonna with the Seven Angels on the right and Saint Bartholomew's altar on the left).There are also the following chapels:
On the apse there is Saints Paul and Bartholomew's painting, made by Giuseppe Felice in 1701. In the chapel of Madonna of Honey there is a painting of Madonna of Honey dating back to about 1300; this is the most ancient painting in Alcamo and is ascribed to Barnaba of Modena.
The stuccoes inside the Church were realized by Vincenzo and Gabriele Messina, and the frescoes by Antonio Grano.