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Church of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary

What to see in Tricase, Lecce, Apulia


the first parish church of Tricase dates back to the XIV-XV century. It was damaged by the Turks in 1480, by soldiers of the Count of Lecce in 1495 and by the Venetians in 1528. Fell in age and it was built another in 1581 dedicated to the Madonna of Foggiaro.

It was rebuilt from 1736, the year in which it was decided to expand the structure now insufficient for the increased number of the population. The project of enlargement of the temple, on the advice of the Dominican Fathers, was entrusted to Fra Tommaso manors of Nardò. Work began, but from thence a little were suspended in what turned out to be compromised the stability of the structure. The expert report on the state of the Church, request to the leccese Mauro Manieri, one of the most experienced and known architects of the time, confirmed the weaknesses technical and structural design of Fra Tommaso and provoked the immediate interruption of work. In 1763, after nearly two decades, entrusted the implementation of a new project to Cupertino Adriano Preite, which in 1781 gave the building to the cult.

The facade, completed in 1785, has the entrance portal inserted between two pairs of columns with composite capitals, resting on a basis of a quadrangular and surmounted by a niche that welcomes the statue of the Virgin praying. Two large volutes joined the lower register with the upper open by a large window lobata.

The interior, which has a Latin cross plan and a single nave, welcomes, in addition to the main altar, built in 1876, twelve altars, six in the nave and six in the transept. The vault is decorated with stuccos made in 1784 from Cupertino Luigi Rossi. In the same year dates back the balustrade sculpted in tunnels in Lecce stone from the alessanese Emanuele Orphan, completed in 1787 with the notch of the wooden gate. In 1784 it was restored the organ, while the following year the temple was enriched of wooden pulpit, the work of the master ebanist Monteanni Raffaele from Lequile.

The church preserves furniture and furnishings of the previous temples like the renaissance baptismal font and tele covering a period between the XVI and the XVIII century. In the left transept is a monumental machine of altar hosts the sixteenth-century painting of the Virgin with Child and Saints Matthew and Francesco da Paola, attributed to Paolo Caliari, said "The Veronese"; while the altar located on the opposite side preserves the seventeenth century canvas by Giandomenico Catalan, portraying San Carlo Borromeo. At the sides of the main altar there are the blades of the Deposition from the Cross to the left, and the Immaculate Conception right, autograph works by Jacopo Palma il Giovane. In the apse there are the Madonna del Foggiaro, sixteenth-century opera, coming from the previous matrix, the canvas representing the Baptism of Saint John, attributed to Fasolo, and the painting of the Virgin in glory among the Saints by Paolo Finoglio.

On the inner facade is dominated by the large painting depicting the Last Supper, commissioned the painter Roberto Buttazzo of Lequile for the opening to the public of the church in 1995, following the restoration work. From the transept you reach the crypt dedicated to Our Lady of Pompeii, in which there is the tomb of Cardinal Giovanni Panico.

  • Piazza Don Tonino Bello, Tricase (Lecce)
  • Religious location

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