is a port city on the Adriatic Sea in Italy. It is the quiet, hot and sleepy capital of one of the southern regions of the country. It has a rich history stretching back many centuries; however, it does not have places of interest attractive for masses of tourists. Therefore, it is known mainly by Orthodox pilgrims who come here to venerate the relics of St. Nicholas.
Our ship had a 5-hour stop in Bari because there’s almost nothing special except a few religious buildings and a castle. Organized groups of tourists were taken to the city by such trailers to make a standard city tour that lasted about 3 hours. There was also the option of taking a taxi. A 1-hour sightseeing guided tour around the city cost 80 euros (as of 2009).
But it’s better to walk. The historic center of the city is located 30 minutes away from the seaport, on foot.
Life on the streets freezes at midday, as it’s very hot. However, during our visit the temperature was just above 77-80 degrees F (25-27 C).
Here are mini fuel stations.
And this is the city center. The street between the two churches was full of tourists.
A holy place is never empty: in the corner in front of the
, where the relics of St. Nicholas of Myra were moved from the town of Myra and deposited in 1087, there’s a sculpture of the great and terrible Tsereteli.
Inside the Basilica. This is the main hall.
Here’s the altar.
This is the Lower Hall.
The relics of St. Nicholas were brought to the city on May 22, 1087. The site of the church was chosen in the center of the city, in 1089 the basilica was consecrated, and the relics of St. Nicholas were placed in a crypt.
The construction continued till 1105. In 1156, during the capture of the city by William I, the basil was destroyed and then restored in 1160. Major restoration works were carried out during 1928-1956. In 1951 it resulted in finding a sarcophagus with the relics of Nicholas under the altar of the Basilica. It was made in the form of a small stone ossuary with a hole for collecting the laity (in the center).
Another place of interest is the
, built in 1131 by King Roger II of Sicily on the ruins of an earlier Byzantine fortification. There was nothing interesting inside, so if you're not a fan of archeological excavations that take place there, then you need not waste your time. It looks better from the outside.
However, in the halls of the castle, we found a very interesting exhibition of icons, collected and removed from the Balkan states.
There’s also the cathedral of St. Sabine (1170-78). It is written, that this is a paramount sample of the Apulian Romanesque.
Well, that's all we saw in Bari.