A church at the site of current San Bartolomeo was present by the 15th century, but the frequent earthquakes that afflict Sicily, including a local tremor in 1693, may have forced the reconstruction of the church to begin in 1752. The facade transitions from late-Baroque to Neoclassical, starting with 18th-century designs by Antonio Mazza, modified later by Salvatore Alì and with the top completed in 1815 by Father Ventura. The iron gate in the portal was designed by Alì in 1822.
The facade presents a triangular front, with columns rising from Doric to Ionic to Corinthian, and culminating in a belfry with a ribbed dome. The roofline houses a statue of Madonna and Child, flanked by two pairs of saints, Peter, Paul del Marabitti, Bartholomew and William.
The interior has a single nave, with a Latin cross plan. The entrance is flanked by tomb monuments of the Micciche family (1631) sculpted by Francesco Lucchese. The church houses a silver processional reliquary/crib, covered in silver in 1862, which housed an icon of the child Jesus, called the Golden Cicidda, and carried in procession on Christmas Day.
In the north transept is arrayed a grand Presepe, or Nativity, (1773-1776) sculpted by Pietro Padula. Of the original 65 statues there are only 29. The backgrounds may be more recent. Adjacent to Nativity Chapel, is the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception with a silver coated statue, made in 1850 by the brothers Catera.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.