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The Church of San Nicola

In 1692, Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini, with his seal, ordered the construction of a church to replace the one destroyed in the 1688 earthquake. Works were finished in 1697. The church, which closes the current Piazza Libertà, was built at the expense of the people and was consecrated by the Cardinal on November 4, 1698. Before assuming its current form, the church endured numerous modifications, both because of damage caused by natural forces, and to render it more beautiful and welcoming, starting in 1790, when the right-side nave was built. In 1818, the left-side nave was added to encompass the side arms of the original layout in the form of a Latin cross. The shape of the two-sided roof was maintained, even if the sloped roof covering the left nave was slightly lower. On July 29, 1858, the bell tower was raised by one story, to reach its current height. Inside the church are some wooden statues, including a 17th century statue of San Nicola, a 16th century cherub, and a noteworthy pulpit.

La chiesa di San Nicola Castelpoto

The Martyr Saints

The protector saints of Castelpoto are Saints Costanzo, Simplicio, and Vittoriano, all of which belong to a cisalpine Gaulic family. They were martyred during the times of Marcus Aurelius. Of the three saints, Saint Costanzo is the favorite. According to tradition, it was thanks to his intervention the middle of the 18th century that a cholera epidemic ended. The wood statue of the saint worshipped by the locals of Castelpoto dates back to 1907 and was purchased with donations gathered from townsfolk who emigrated to America. A little urn inserted in its chest contains the relics of the saint. The preceding statue was auctioned and with the earnings an altar was built to host the three protector saints. The old 18th century statue is currently housed in the sacristy of the church. The holiday is celebrated on May 14, the date marking the end of the epidemic. These saints are also venerated in Celano, in the province of L’Aquila, sister city of Castelpoto, and in Panni, in the province of Foggia.

I Santi Martiri