The Church of San Niccolò
- Via dei Caduti, 26
- Gardone Riviera - Bs
- 45.623032 10.563956
The desire for renewal that inspired the entire 18th century can be clearly seen in Gardone Riviera, where the existing church was demolished in order to build a new, bigger and more spacious one facing southwards.
The project was entrusted to Paolo Soratini, a camaldolese friar from Lonato and renowned and sought-after architect between Brescia and Mantova. The new church was completed in 1740 but the works for opening spaces for the large windows in the façade were only carried out at the end of the 19th century which gave a new and pleasant brightness to the whole building.
The church was built according to Baroque style, decorated with stucchi, trompe l'oeil scenes, pilasters and frescoes by the artist Francesco Monti from Bologna. The three medallions frescoed on the vault are attributed to him. The fresco above the high altar represents Virgin Mary Assumed into Heaven. In the centre of the vault San Nicola is depicted protecting the believers from the wicked, who are represented here by a Moor, maybe to recall the fight against Muslims. The last fresco, on the church end wall, depicts the fight between the angels and the demons banned from Heaven.
The walls of the church contain important pictorial works such as the two canvas paintings by Zenon Veronese and one by Andrea Celesti, a painting by Palma the Young representing Our Lady together with Jesus and the Saints.
Going back outside, it is worth pausing on the balcony along the church apse from which you can enjoy a wide view, from Punta San Vigilio to Sirmione, from the Rocca di Manerba to the Garda island.