Poemas del río Wang: Swallow calendar

2023-01-05 23:58:51

Within the Sicilian Nicosia, subsequent to Bar Antica Gelateria in the primary sq., on the façade of which fragments of Mussolini’s Victory Day speech of May 9, 1936 still can be read, a steep staircase leads as much as the hill of the twenty-four barons.

The hill received its title from the truth that, after the conquest of town on the finish of the eleventh century, the cream of the brand new Norman-Lombard the Aristocracy settled right here. The title has since grow to be a trademark of Nicosia, which is known as “town of the twenty-four barons”, however it is usually the title of an area restaurant, brewery and craft beer pub. The coats of arms of the twenty-four barons are displayed within the restaurant of the identical title.

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Though the names of the twenty-four barons have been brightly preserved by custom, time has not been so clement to their legacy. Most of their palaces stand empty and decaying. A few of them have been closed so very long time in the past that the lock itself is slowly changing into a factor of museum worth.

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For the reason that earth is consistently shifting gently in Sicily, the door jambs of some gates have additionally slipped aside, and there’s no one to get them proper once more.

The Salomone Palace, the biggest amongst them, after which the steep avenue is known as, is in one of the best situation. One of the invaluable outdated libraries of Nicosia is stored right here. Above the gate, the coat of arms of the converso household contains the Star of David, or reasonably Solomon’s Seal, and the 2 lions subsequent to it appear like the lions of Judah elevating the crown of the Torah on Jewish tombstones. Different Jewish noble households additionally typically preserved these symbols of their most historic pedigree, as Jakob Bassevi von Trautenberg did on his palace in Prague.

Steep streets climb up from the outdated and the decrease city on each side of the salita.

Quickly the Lombard hill rising on the opposite facet of the primary sq. seems above the rooftops, with the “mom church” (madre chiesa) of Santa Maria Maggiore on the highest. The Lombard warriors who have been settled there by the Norman conquerors dropped at Nicosia the everyday Gallo-Italian dialect, which nobody else in Sicily understands besides them, and which doesn’t even sound Italian. When sitting within the bar, I needed to marvel for a very long time what language they have been talking. Their church turned a rival to the St. Nicholas church of the unique Greek inhabitants in the primary sq., so it was essential every year to vary the title of town’s cathedral between the 2 madre chiese. Throughout their Holy Week processions, they repeatedly clashed, and struck one another with the procession crucifix. The identical occurred on the feast of St Nicholas, the unique patron saint of the 2 church buildings. That’s the reason the Lombard church needed to be renamed Santa Maria Maggiore, so the 2 devotional processions would a minimum of not meet in the course of the feast of the patron saint.

On the finish of the street, you must make one final effort to rise up the steep SS. Salvatore stairs to the Church of the Savior on high of the hill.

The hassle is properly price it. From the small sq. in entrance of the church, you take pleasure in a stunning panorama of the outdated city of Nicosia and the panorama past it, all the way in which to Mount Etna, which is piping with a fragile white strip. The construction of town unfolds under us in such element and invitations us to take a digital stroll like an animated Baroque metropolis map, with its streets, squares, fountains, the façades of church buildings and palaces, the excessive towers and the interior courtyards lined with sloping tiled roofs, into which you’ll be able to peer from above.

Straight under us is the primary sq. with St Nicholas Church, which was rebuilt from a Greek church and an Arab tower in its present Renaissance-Baroque kind after who is aware of what number of earthquakes. Its Andalusian-style minaret tower continues to be surrounded by seven robust iron bands to a minimum of considerably counterbalance the inscrutable will of Allah.

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However the greatest shock is that the south facet of the Church of the Savior, which is generally closed off from the remainder of the sq. by an iron-barred gate, is now open. Its key’s stored within the Ecomuseo Petra d’Asgotto, with whom you may prepare a gathering upfront by e-mailing to pinalagiusa@tiscali.it. And it’s price it, as a result of here’s a distinctive monument of town: the swallow calendar (calendario delle rondinelle).

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The southern wall of the church is enriched with a Thirteenth-century arcaded porch. Within the japanese nook of the wall, a big limestone block was inserted, on the 2 smoothed sides of which they engraved 12 months by 12 months from 1737 to 1798, which month and which day the primary swallows arrived in Nicosia. This occurred most frequently within the first days of March, however generally within the final week of February, and even in mid-February in the direction of the tip of the century. Would the climate have been that a lot hotter?

The continuation of the calendar could be discovered after passing via the arches, within the southwest nook of the church. Right here, they inserted three block stones within the wall, however solely the center one has dates, from 1799 to 1820. Maybe the decrease one has some too, however you can not learn them any extra.

The arrival of the primary swallows and the primary storks, the official seal of the brand new spring, is a giant occasion within the lifetime of a small city. However since it’s not in regards to the go to of nice folks, saints or rulers, it not often occurred to anybody to incorporate this occasion within the native historical past.

Historical past writing additionally has its historical past, as to by which age what was thought of worthy of recording, of together with into historical past books. Primarily based on the traditional Roman-Greek mannequin, for a very long time they solely targeted on dicta et facta memorabilia, the memorable deeds and sayings of well-known folks, or main occasions affecting the lives of complete peoples. That straightforward people, on a regular basis mentality, man’s relationship with nature and animals, advert absurdum the swallows of Nicosia also can have a historical past, was solely established within the twentieth century by the French school of historiography Annales.

I ponder who considered this in Nicosia, which churchman was a lot channeled on the identical time into the cycle of nature and the routine of written chronicles, to start out protecting this calendar and to create micro-historiography two centuries earlier than Annales.

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