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Church of San Martino: the ancient chapel with hidden treasures

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A deconsecrated chapel, older than the Basilica of San Nicola: it is the church of San Martino in old Bari


Old Church of San Martino in Bari

There are areas in old Bari where every stone tells centuries-old stories and events, such as that of the church of San Martino whose location reflects nothing other than the value of the historical heritage of this city.

Among the cobbled streets and charming alleys of this ancient district of Bari, in fact, stands an old church built between the 9th and 10th centuries AD, therefore older even than the historic and majestic Basilica of San Nicola presumably built shortly after. The San Martino church , located in Strada Bianchi Dottula , has undergone various transformations over time which led it to reach its current appearance between 1500 and 1700, as well as being incorporated into what is now Palazzo Bianchi Dottula , the building that houses this small and evocative chapel (now deconsecrated) .

Nonetheless, towards the middle of the 20th century the San Martino church was completely abandoned, starting a long period of oblivion (about 60 years) interrupted only by the initiative of the APS Martinus , a collective made up of associations and private individuals specialized in historical research, architectural restoration and promotion of the territory, which has embarked on a complex project of study, restoration and reuse of the building.

Join the restoration of the chapel with a donation

A small place of worship with a thousand-year history

A journey through this church is a real leap in time, an experience that reveals the profound connection between the present and the past of Bari Vecchia through some fragments, still visible today, of a very ancient history. A meeting point that offers the most curious the opportunity to immerse themselves in a place that has resisted the passage of time and the events that have characterized eras, stories and events of this city.

Visit the old church of San Martino in Bari

The hidden treasures of the church of San Martino

In the early 1970s, during operations aimed at structural consolidation, a gesture was made intended to reveal the hidden past of a place rich in history and charm. A deep gap in the pavement, in fact, revealed to the world frescoes dating back to the Early Middle Ages together with the wall remains of an ancient Byzantine temple.

Paintings church San Martino Bari

Even the walls of the San Martino church tell timeless stories, while the gaze rests on details that testify to the art and spirituality of those who lived in those places centuries ago.

Through the past, some visible fragments of this evocative place of worship still emerge today, with paintings that recall days gone by and even the frescoed tomb of the priest Smaragdo , singing master and rector of the church in the Byzantine period.

Smaragdo Tomb San Martino Bari

Visit the ancient church of San Martino

Currently, monthly appointments are organized to visit the place that houses this suggestive chapel, with guided tours by professional guides from PugliArte .

However, to stay updated, it is advisable to visit the following links: WEBSITE:
FACEBOOK: martinus.spazioartetempo

Join the restoration of the church

The church of San Martino is at the center of a recovery and refunctionalization project by the Martinus association. Through your contribution, Martinus will be able to give continuity to the restoration project of one of the most evocative places in the historical, cultural and artistic panorama of our splendid city. You too can support this project to return to Bari a jewel that remained inaccessible for over 60 years.

Where is the church of San Martino located?

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