Sixth Centenary of the Cathedral of Santa Maria di Nardò (1413-2013 )

Sixth Centenary of the Cathedral of Santa Maria di Nardò (1413-2013 )  

To celebrate the sixth centenary of the Cathedral of Santa Maria di Nardò (Lecce, Italy), the Philatelic and Numismatic Office has produced a series of five stamps choosing as subjects the frescoes dating from the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries that adorn the two side aisles. The stamps depict: Bishop St. Augustine on the € 0.05 value, Our Lady of Health on the € 0.10 value, the Madonna del Giglio on the € 0.15 value, St. Nicholas of Myra on the € 0.25 value, and Christ Pantocrator on the € 0.45 value. The Cathedral is located in the historic center of this town in the Salento region of Italy. It was built on the ruins of a church constructed prior to the year one thousand and is characterized by its basilica form, Baroque architectural design, and its unique arches. Of great historical and artistic value is the wooden crucifix of the twelfth century, known as the Black Christ, placed in a chapel on the left aisle. According to tradition, the artifact was brought to Nardò, together with the relics of Saint Gregorio Armeno, patron saint of the city, by Greek monks. The frescoes in the central nave are from a more recent period. In 1980 the Cathedral of Santa Maria di Nardò was elevated to the dignity of Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II.