The Romanesque Pieve of San Nicomede is an ancient Royal Basilica whose history is documented since the 9th century, but whose origins are based in the legend of the tHaumaturgic powers of a source called Fountain Broccola. It is said that, in ancient times, pilgrims afflicted by headaches carried a stone or brick on the head to the spring, then drawing on that water, with the hope of healing.
On the pilgrimage site, probably the oldest of the Parmense dedicated to the cult of St. Nicomede, in the 9th century a small church is built where, from the year 876, the remains of the Saint, martyred in Rome in the second persecution of Domitian in the year 85 A.D. are placed. Later the remains of St. Nicomede are transferred to the Cathedral of Parma, but in the crypt of the Pieve is still kept a relic of his.
The proximity of the church with the Via Francigena makes it a popular religious center with pilgrims over the centuries. The site is actually considered a sacred place since
Roman times, as evidenced by the discovery in the area of several tombs covered with Roman tiles. Documents from the 7th century attest that this place marked the border between the cities of Parma and Piacenza.
The main building we can visit today, a single-room building with truss roof, apse and crypt, is the result of the overlapping of several construction phases. The oldest part is the three-nave crypt, probably made in the 9th century with architectural elements recovered from older buildings, including two grooved columns of Roman times and two of longobarda age, where the carved capital is overlapped by a massive pulvin. Even the red marble slabs of Verona and White carrara of the floor of the crypt, as well as the real of the well of the Fountain Broccola, to which it still draws water, are architectural elements of the Roman era, evidently coming from buildings whose memory has been lost. The apse with central buttstros is 14th century, while the classroom is built in the fourteenth century, as evidenced by the inscription placed above the entrance. The building takes on the current shape after the restoration work of 1909, when the interior decoration with bichrome bands is carried out and are reconstructed, with eclectic taste that takes up the Lombard Romanesque style, the bell tower, the facade, the small porch (protiro), the rosette, the dental terminal frame and the three pinnacles.
The place of San Nicomede is located in the valley of the Stirone stream, about 4 km from Salsomaggiore and a short walk from the route of the Via Francigena.
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