Iglesia de San Nicolas (Church of Saint Nicholas), Bilbao

Iglesia de San Nicolas (Church of Saint Nicholas), Bilbao

The Church of Saint Nicolas, a Catholic Church that opened in 1756, was designed by architect Ignacio Ibero. It is in Saint Nicholas Square (Plaza de San Nicolas), facing the Arriaga Theater. The original church, built close to the estuary in 1490, was eventually ruined by flooding.

Ibero's basic design in the 1743 plan was a large circle within a square. The presbytery and the main entry are on one axis. The two side entrances are on a perpendicular axis, which creates exedras (large niches) at the corners of the square. The four exedras hold two altarpieces joined by two tribunes (galleries) and a choir.

The principal facade is topped by a balustrade and flanked by twin towers. The Belfry, centered over the main entrance, partly conceals the octagonal drum under the dome with oculi. A bronze tympanum by sculptor Josep Llimona depicts Saint Nicolas amongst fisherfolk. Above the tympanum is the coat of arms of the Town Council.

Inside is an unusual set of five Rococo altarpieces. Designed in 1752 by architect Diego Martinez de Arce, they display ornate carvings and reliefs. The altarpieces are dedicated to the saints Crispin, Crispiniano, Lazaro, Blaise, and La Piedad.

In the chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe, there is an 18th-century painting of the Virgin. There is also a relief of The Visitation and an image of San Judas Tadeo, a favorite saint of Bilbao.

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Iglesia de San Nicolas (Church of Saint Nicholas) on Map

Sight Name: Iglesia de San Nicolas (Church of Saint Nicholas)
Sight Location: Bilbao, Spain (See walking tours in Bilbao)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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