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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Dodecanese > Kastellorizo > gallery
Kastellorizo, Greece Kastellorizo gallery 209 of 260

The churches of Saint Nicholas and Saint Dimitrios, on the Kavos headland, Kastellorizo, Greece at My Favourite Planet

On the way to the Knights' Castle: the twin churches of Saints Nicholas and Dimitrios.

The churches of Saints Nicholas and Dimitrios and the Knights' Castle, Kastellorizo, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The twin churches of Saints
Nicholas and Dimitrios (left)
and the Knights' Castle (right)
viewed from the cliff above

The twin churches of Saints Nicholas and Dimitrios, Kastellorizo, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The twin churches of Saints
Nicholas and Dimitrios from
the cliff above Kastellorizo.

The 17th century churches of Agios Nikolaos kai Dimitrios (Saints Nicholas and Dimitrios), Agios Nikolaos being the older and smaller of the two. Both churches were badly damaged during World War II and eventually restored in 1995 with the financial assistance of the expatriate Kastellorizian Anna Lazarou Hatziyiannaki (nee Tsakouni).

Both saints are important in the Greek Orthodox religion. We will be adding information about Agios Dimitrios soon. Meanwhile, here is some background on Agios Nikolaos.

You could describe Agios Nikolaos as a local boy who made good, since he was born in the nearby Lycian city of Patara and became bishop of another Lycian city Myra (now the Turkish town of Demre). Both places are today about an hour by boat from Kastellorizo.

Nikolaos has become famous all over the world as a performer of miracles ("Nicholas the Wonderworker") and a secret giver of gifts (the German name Sankt Niklaus became the English Santa Claus or Father Christmas). Because of his legendary (or mythical) exploits he has been adopted as the patron saint of children, students, sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, prostitutes, repentant thieves, pharmacists, archers and pawnbrokers, not to mention several places such as Russia, Aberdeen, Amsterdam and Liverpool.

He is particularly revered in Greece as the patron saint of mariners, and there are innumerable churches and chapels dedicated to him around its shores. On Kastellorizo he is celebrated at the twin churches of Saints Nicholas and Dimitrios on the Kavos headland near the Knights' Castle.

Saint Nicholas of Myra (Άγιος Νικόλαος, Agios Nikolaos, "victory of the people", 270 - 6 December 346) was a contemporary of Constantine the Great (circa 272 - 337) and his mother Agia Eleni (Saint Helena, circa 246/50 – 18 August 330), who together as Saints Constantine and Helena are credited with initiating the christianization of the Roman Empire.

Nikolaos is said to have performed a miracle in 325 at the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea which was convened by Constantine. Presumably the two men must have met at some time. Since Agia Eleni also travelled this way on her expedition in search of religious relics (for which she became the patron saint of archaeologists), it is likely that she visited Myra. Constantine is said to have granted Nikolaos' petition for the reduction of taxes in Myra.

Despite Nikolaos' legendary kindness and humility, it seems he had little tolerance for the old pagan religions, and is said to have destroyed several temples including the renowned Temple of Artemis in Myra, the largest cult centre of ancient Lycia.

See also a photo of an icon of Agios Nikolaos in the church Agios Georgios Tou Pigadiou on Kastellorizo's main harbour on gallery page 99.
Aerial view of the Kavos headland and Knights' Castle, Kastellorizo island, Greece at My Favourite Planet
Saints Nicholas
and Dimitrios
Knights' Castle   hamam   windmill
View of the Kavos headland and Knights' Castle from the cliff stairs.
© David John
Beyond Kastellorizo's
main harbour:

the Lycian tomb


Knight's castle



up the cliff

Good night,
Maps, photos and articles: © David John,
except where otherwise specified.

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

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