Guide to churches in Patra, Greece
Patras is a big town dotted by many churches. Some of them have an impressive style, a combination of Byzantine and Neoclassical architecture. The church of Saint Andrew (Agios Andreas) is the most important church in Patras, as this is the patron saint of the town. This modern church was founded in 1908 by King George I on the site of a former Byzantine chapel that existed there since the 1st century AD. It is said that the church has been built on the site where Saint Andrew, the student of Jesus Christ, was crucified by the Romans in 66 AD. Close to the church, there is the spring of Saint Andrew, which pours out holy water.
The church of Saint (Agios) Nikolaos is present in the history of Patra since the 14th century. However, the present chapel was constructed in 1885 because the former building was destroyed in 1811 when a gunpowder storehouse inside the Castle of Patras exploded. This church has a historical importance for Patras. This is where the residents of the town swore faith to Constantine Paleologos, the last Byzantine emperor, in 1430 AD. This is also where the locals celebrated their deliberation from the Turkish rule on December 6th, 1828, on the name day of the saint.
Along time, the church has undergone some renovations in the internal and external decoration. In 1993, after a severe earthquake that hit Patras, the bell tower was reconstructed. Some decades before, the iconostasis and the interior had also undergone various renovations. Inside the church, there are some beautiful icons dating from the Byzantine times.
The church of Saint (Agia) Varvara has an active role in the local society, as it frequently organizes meetings of the pilgrims and lectures on religious subjects. The church is impressive and it has been built in the Byzantine style. Inside, it hosts valuable icons and beautiful frescoes depicting saints and scenes from the Bible.