Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Nicholas Churches Around the World - Athens, Greece

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...
That's right...
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!
Interior
And... 
its welcoming entrance...
...with the city of Athens reflected in the glass.

30 comments:

Carol said...

Another beautiful post.Thanks for sharing all of these informative and pleasing post. I've really enjoyed them.

Lois Evensen said...

I just love your tours! I so enjoy your blog.

If you haven't done so already, please drop by my site. You won my give away! ;)

Hugs,
Lois

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

It looks beautiful Ann! I love the warmth of the stone colour.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Ann
Just when I think there could not possibly be another church as beautiful as the last you prove me wrong.. I was thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to tour all the churches of the world.. Then I remembered.... You have taken me there.
Thank you dear friend... I am really enjoying this journey.
Blessings,
Penny

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Very interesting, Ann..... The St. Nicholas Church in Athens may not be as old as the Acropolis --but it is still an old and gorgeous church... I can only imagine how happy those people were when the church bells could toll again...

Hugs,
Betsy

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh this is the dream place for me to see such a church...GREECE! Oh Ann, prayers for Mr. Edward are in order! I SHALL WATCH VIGILANTLY for his updates!!! Stay well dear heart, and thank you for visiting me today!!! LOVE TO YOU, Anita

Madi and Mom said...

What a beautiful Church, I agree the color of the stone is very warm and inviting...

We hope Edward is doing better today
Hugs to you all,
Madi and Mom

K9 + Grace said...

Hello! What a beautiful sight! Thanks for sharing!

Pat said...

So much history! I love your posts - and this church with the Acropolis as its backdrop! I can imagine the joy when the bell was heard to ring again :) xx

Zuzana said...

This was really interesting post Ann.;) I hope one day to visit the Acropolis.
Have a lovely Sunday,
xoxo

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Interesting post. This is placed amongst such beautiful scenery as well. Diane

Colleen said...

So very beautiful! Athens is such a lovely and fascinating city!

Thank you for sharing the vividness of history with us!

fernvalley01 said...

So beautiful

imac said...

One of the places I would like to visit Ann.
Love your photos.

Quirky Cafe said...

Lovely photos as always!
x

Southern Lady said...

I saw that church on my trip to Greece a couple of years ago. It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing such great pictures. Carla

Dogwood said...

This Church is so so beautiful. All that detail is wonderful. Very interesting history. Thanks.
Prayers for all those suffering in Japan.
Hugs, Cory/Dogwood

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Ann, I marvel at how you get this information.. A lovely old church and still used today. How well they built them! Very special I cannot imagine the feelings of nostalia as one walks within.
Blessings. CM

Elaine said...

Living in a place where a few buildings date back 100 years, 1000 years is very old. I marvel that buildings can survive for that long.

Sara Bentley said...

The bell story gave me goosebumps -- so beautiful! And you're right about it not seeming old next to the Acropolis :) Wow!

troutbirder said...

Very interesting. It's been about 15 years since I took a group of high school students on a "tour" of Greece. We did, of course, visit Athens but churches were not on the tour companies menus although "temples" were... :)

Remington said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing....the pics are amazing!

Madi and Mom said...

Ann thank you for your update on Edward. Did they remove some of his colon? Bless his sweet little heart.
Give him a kiss from us.
Madi and Mom

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

Sooo beautiful! That picture with the sunlit windows is amazing!

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Hi Ann, I so want to go on a holiday after seeing your pretty pictures!
I threw the sweet Ann notes in the big giveaway hat, fingers crossed crossed crossed for you.
ENjoy your Tuesday, mine is ending xxxx

Linda said...

Ann - all of this is just breath-taking. It is hard to imagine buildings that old. They are just magnificent. I love the story about the bell.
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful piece of history.

Dorothy said...

Very interesting post and such a beautiful church. There is nothing like the sound of church bells ringing! What a history for this church. It's hard to believe church bells were not allowed to be rung for all of those years!

Thanks and I do hope Edward is doing well. Sending some love his way xoxoxo!

Cindy Adkins said...

Hi Ann,
Wow, how beautiful! And I love the Acropolis!
XO

LisaShaw said...

Thanks for sharing this with us! I have always loved the "older, larger" buildings. They have such character.

Thanks for the information as well.

Blessings!

Sailor said...

Beautiful Pictures!
Cruise Picture