Saturday, November 30, 2013

The New Church of St Andrew, Patra

Despite having a Church dedicated to St. Andrew, the local population of Patra wished to have a large Church dedicated to St Andrew, the First-Called Apostle. Therefore, in 1902, a new projct began of the foundation of a new, byzantine style Church, which was founded by the King of the Greeks, George I. There were a number of difficulties during the building of this Church that is why it took 66 years to complete. On the 26th September 1974 the Church was consecrated by His Eminence Metropolitan of Patra Nikodemos.

The Church can hold a maximum of 7000 worshippers, which makes it the largest Church in Greece. The central dome has a height of 46 metres. The uniqueness of this Church is found in its interior, whereby the sacred relic of the Holy Head of Saint Andrew is found, together with the Cross of his martyrdom, i.e. the X shaped cross.

Additionally, a beautiful feature of this Church is to be found on the wall behind the Holy of Holies, where the Platitera, i.e. the Virgin Mary with Her hands open, is seen blessing the city, which is painted right underneath her; thus she is blessing the city of Patra and its people, who endeavoured to undertake this impressive and massive project, in order to show their devotion to St Andrew, and therefore to Jesus Christ and His Church. 

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