Friday, November 16, 2012

Saint Spiridon Church, Nafplio

The Church of Saint Spiridon in Nafplio, Peloponnese, is located in the Old Town of this city, which was the first capital of Modern Greece. This church was built in 1702 with the financing of the Nafplian Brotherhood of Orthodox Greeks.

It is a single-space basilica with a dome and a bell tower, constructed in 1853. The walls within the church are filled with Byzantine icons and paintings. The painting that marks out for its vivid colours and its unusual theme is the large fresco of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, just opposite the entrance door. Also another unusual sign for an Orthodox Church is the Star of David, a Jewish symbol that can be seen at the floor, almost in the centre of the church.

This church has an important historical role for the Greeks, since it was there that on the 27th of September 1831, the first governor of the newly established Greek State, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was assassinated by his political opponents, some men from the Mavrokordatos family, a wealthy and strong family that time in Greece who had contributed a lot in the Greek War of Independence.  

That Sunday morning, Kapodistrias was going to the Holy Mass. As usually, he preferred this church because it was dedicated to Saint Spiridon, the patron Saint of his homeland, which was the island of Corfu. Few men appeared from the stairs opposite the church and shot him. In fact, some of these bullets still have their prints against the wall of the church. These prints have been framed in a glass case. 

No comments:

Post a Comment