Agios Nicolaos (St. Nicolas) in Chersonissos Port Verified

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Agios NikolaosThe church belongs to the parish of Koutouloufari. It is a single-nave, barrel vaulted chapel, dedicated to St. Nicolas. It was built in the 17th or 18th century, on the ruins of a big 3-nave early Christian Basilica of the 6th century. The small chapel of St. Nicolas was built next to the apse, in the main nave of the Basilica. The apse of the sanctuary in the main nave is pentagonal and inside it is semi-cylindrical. The Basilica’s dimensions were 50.20 x 18.20 m (without the apse) - it consisted of three unequal naves, which were separated with pillars and ended up to tabernacles from the east side.

Next to the south nave, there is an extended outbuilding (to the east) with an apse, which could have been a memorial, a baptistery, a Diaconicon (sacristy) or even a chapel. It is difficult to determine its use, as, nowadays, it is covered by the sea, due to the settling of the ground that the east and the central part of Crete are subjected to. A narthex has also been identified, with three openings to the main church, and also an atrium that was connected to the narthex through two openings. On the exterior of the north atrium wall, there is a rectangular building that walls in another part of a circular structure and is said to have been a lighthouse or a tower. In the narthex and the north nave there are tombs. The flooring in the narthex and the main nave of the Basilica was adorned with frescoes, from which only fragments are saved nowadays.

The contemporary church of St. Nicolas is stone built, with a contemporary wooden iconostasis, which is adorned with up-to-date icons of Glykofiloussa (Virgin of the sweet kiss), (2011), Pantocrator (Almighty) (2011) and St. Nicolas (2011). On the north of the chapel, there is a later addition of a small room that operates as an ancillary space. In the church yard, there are pieces of the Basilica frescoes, as well as architectural members.

Architecture: Single-nave, barrel vaulted
Dating: 17th century
Location: Chersonissos Port village – East side – Vigla or Vlichada location
Celebration: 6th December
Hagiography: NO
Access: Easy access
Visit Options: Closed. Visitors should contact the priest Michael Agapakis, mobile 6977984072

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