Heybeliada - The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas

The Greek Orthodox church of St. Nicholas (Hagios Nikolaos) dominates the main square of the village, two short blocks in from the sea bus iskele. It was erected in 1857 on the ruins of a Byzantine church dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of mariners, appropriate for an island where virtually all of the men were seafarers and fishermen. The architect was Hacı Stefani Gaytanki Kalfa. The church was damaged in the 1894 earthquake, but it was soon afterwards repaired. It is cruciform in plan, with a dome on a high drum covering the central area, supported by four piers, and with barrel vaults over the four arms, a lofty clock-tower campanile rising separately from the main structure. Behind the altar is the tomb of Patriarch Samuel I, who died in 1775. A separate building in front of the narthex houses the hagiasma, or sacred spring, of St. Paraskevi (Hagia Paraskevi).

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