Agios (Saint) Nikolaos Rangavas
Athens (Anafiotika), Greece
10th Century Byzantine Church
Although old by most standards this beautiful and historic church named in Nicholas of Myra's honor isn't too old considering it's neighbor on the hill directly to the south of it.
You can just see "who" that is peeking through in the photo below...
The Acropolis of Athens!
Image courtesy: Wikipedia
This church was at first a private chapel owned by the famous Rangavas family. They were extremely influential in Athens and in the main Greek city of that time (and for over a thousand years!), Constantinople. In fact, one of that family, Michael I had even been an Emperor in the early 800s. This church didn't remain private for long and has been a perish church for most of its almost 1000 years of history (It still holds services). It played a very large part in modern history too.
Bell of Freedom
This bell was the first one to ring in the modern country of Greece after more than 400 years of Turkish occupation. This has an added significance when it is remembered that Church bells were not allowed to be rung for every one of those years. Imagine the joy, for those of this St. Nicholas perish - and all of Athens - when it rang out across the blue skies of Athens after so many years! Just one small part of what had been ancient Greece was liberated and free to worship openly again but... it must have filled many hearts with joy!
its welcoming entrance...
...with the city of Athens reflected in the glass.