When spring rolls around it is magical in Greece. The trees bloom and the streets all smell like a florist shop because everyone has flowers everywhere.
It is also a time of reawakening and celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. I find that this is my favorite time of the year to go to church. There is a special feeling that permeates the liturgies which are usually held in the evenings leading up to Easter. With all these sweet memories knocking around in my brain I thought I’d take you back to put a spotlight on the impressive Saint Andreas or Andrew’s Cathedral in Patra, Greece.
In this photo essay we will be exploring the exterior of the church and next month I’ll be sharing the interior which deserves a post all it’s own.
Saint Andrew’s Cathedral is located in Patras, in the Peloponnese, a peninsula in the lower half of Greece. Patra is the third largest city in Greece and the regional capital of Western Greece. It is also a busy port city with ships traveling to Italy and the rest of Western Europe. The annual carnival is also hosted here.
But most of all it is the home of this magnificent cathedral.
Saint Andrew’s Cathedral is the largest Orthodox church in Greece and the third largest in the Balkans at approximately 2,000 square meters, or 21,500 square feet with a capacity of 7,500 worshipers.
The church style is a Basilica with a central nave and aisles on either side. There is one central dome with windows on the upper level and 12 smaller domes on each tower and at the corners of the main building.
The church’s name is taken from Saint Andrew, who we also refer to as Protokletos or “the first called” because Saint Andrew was the first of the Apostles who was called by Jesus to join him as his disciple. He was also the brother of Saint Peter.
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Construction of the church began in 1908 by the architect Anastasios Metaxas and was finally completed in 1974.
This is the cultural center with a book store, where exhibitions are held.
Above the main door is the symbol of the Byzantine coat of arms…
… a two-headed eagle with a crown on top. In this case it symbolizes the Church and State under one Empire, that being the Byzantine Empire.
A detail of the carved marble along the sides of the doors.
And a fountain to cool us down during the hot summer days. I should mention here that the Cathedral is located a block away from the bay waters. It doesn’t get better than this.
This is the view on the right side of the Cathedral….
…which also happens to be an exact mirror image of the left side.
One last view from the south east side. It was built perfectly symmetrical.
I do wish I was there at this time of the year, in my opinion the best time before it gets sweltering hot. And now that I have shared the exterior of the church prepare to be wowed next month as we enter the church proper. It truly is a sight to behold.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos of Impressive Saint Andrew’s Cathedral. If you would like to see more of my photography go to the photo gallery here.
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