Thursday, December 6, 2012

St Nicholas Church, Nafplio

This beautiful basilica of St. Nicholas is located near the port of Nafplio, in Southern Greece. It was built in 1713, a century before Greek Independence against the Ottoman Empire. This church has many unique factors, including the bishops throne, the central chandelier - following the Russian traditional style of chandeliers, and the large despotic icons on the iconostasis dating back to 1848-49. The icons were created by the iconographer Ioannis Dimadis. 

St. Nicholas is a very important saint for the Orthodox and Greek worlds. He is the protector of sailors; considered to be the patron saint of the Greek navy, military and merchant alike. He is celebrated on the 6th of December, where it is marked by festivities aboard all ships and boats, at sea and in port. 

On the other hand Saint Nicholas is the most widely celebrated family patron saint in Serbia. In Bulgaria he is one of the most celebrated saints. Numerous churches and monasteries are named after him. Thus we see that he is an important saint. Due to his importance we observe that many Orthodox faithful have his name, which derives from two Greek words, i.e. Νίκη and Λαός that mean Victory and People, so the name ultimately means the victory of the people. From this name we have the famous clothing brand Nike, i.e. Victory. 

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