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St. Nicholas Church

Look for tombstones and frescoes on the outside of this medieval church while inside there are mosaics, statues and stained glass to admire.

St. Nicholas Church (Chiesa di San Nicolo or Startpfarre St. Nikolaus) is one of oldest and largest churches in Merano. This Gothic-style place of worship was established in the 1300s and building work was completed in 1465, with restorations taking place in the 1990s. Admire the artistic features of St. Nicholas Church, gaze up at the tall clock tower and visit an adjoining chapel. 

Stroll around the exterior of the building, keeping watch for the series of ancient gravestones embedded into the walls. Study the decaying frescoes, which portray scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and St. Christopher. A soaring clock tower rises up from the southeast corner of the church and is visible throughout Merano’s town center. Note the tower’s eight clock faces.

Enter the church through the western doorway, where a statue of St. Nicholas watches over visitors from a sentry box. As you make your way through the nave, notice the well-preserved mosaics on the floor. Pay attention to the intricately carved pews and choir benches and the colorful stained-glass windows. Statues of saints and portrayals of the Way of the Cross adorn the walls. 

At the rear of the church is the octagonal-shaped Santa Barbara Chapel, built by German architect Hans von Burghausen in 1450. For many years the chapel was the town’s burial chapel and its basement served as the ossuary. The decorative altars display artistic influences from the Gothic and Baroque periods. A painting of St. Christopher greets you at the entrance. 

The church commands a central location on Piazza Duomo, which is the main square of Merano Historic Center. Merano train station is about a 20-minute walk away. From the square, the commercial street Via Portici connects with Piazza del Grano. The street is notable for its arcaded walkways. 

St. Nicholas Church is open daily and admission is free. Mass services in German take place daily.

*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2019, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.


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