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Culture Religion Monuments Christian Orthodox Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Xanthi Municipality of Vistonida

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Holy Church of Saint Nicolas, Porto Lagos

Georgios Tsigaras
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace
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Location: The church is located on an islet of Vistonida Lagoon or Bourou, close to the fishermen settlement of Porto Lagos.
The Monument: No exact date for the erection of the original church of Saint Nicolas. It has been claimed that it was probably erected after 1371 by fishermen of the lagoon and monks of the monastery of Vatopedi. However, it remains unknown whether the church was built over the foundations of a previous building or not.
In a later phase, in the early 19th century, under Metropolitan Nathanael of Xanthi, the new church of Saint Nicolas was erected shortly after it was destroyed. The earlier church must have been smaller and built with materials of poor quality. Later on, the Metropolitan Seraphim of Xanthi erected a bigger church. During the Thracian Fight (1912-1920), Bulgarians caused serious damages to the church of Saint Nicolas, the fish farms of the metochion as well as the Porto Lagos settlement.
According to a founding inscription that lies on the lintel of the church entrance, it was built in its present form in 1904.
It is a single-aisled church with a gabled roof and a gallery on the west. On the outer side of the church, on the lintel of the southern entrance, stands a walled marble icon of Saint Nicolas. The wooden tripartite iconostasis is simple ending to a pediment. The rest of the iconostasis contains icons of Christ, Panaghia and Timios Prodromos, all elaborated in an athonite workshop in 1815. There are also icons of a later period, namely the miraculous catch of fish in lake Tiberias and the icons of Saint Demetrios and Saint George on the upper part and the icons of Theodores Statilatis and Tiron on the lower side.
A modern, single-storey building that was erected in 1958, replaced the old guesthouse of the metochion and is used by the monks of the monastery of Vatopedi serving at the metochion of their monastery.
In a distance of 100 m far from the metochion, on an artificial islet connected with this one, lies a contemporary church dedicated to Theotokos Pantanassa.
ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ: Ν. Λ. ΚΥΝΗΓΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ, Άγιος Νικόλαος. Το μετόχι της Ι. Μ. Βατοπαιδίου στο Πορτολάγος Ξάνθης, Θεσσαλονίκη 1999• Π. Α. ΓΕΩΡΓΑΝΤΖΗΣ, Συμβολή εις την ιστορίαν της Ξάνθης, Ξάνθη 1976• Π. Α. ΓΕΩΡΓΑΝΤΖΗΣ, Θρακικός Αγώνας 1921-1920. Ύστατοι απελευθερωτικοί αγώνες της Δ. Θράκης, Ξάνθη 1993• ΜΟΝΑΣΤΗΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΓΝΑΤΙΑΣ ΟΔΟΥ, Πολιτιστικός – Τουριστικός οδηγός, τόμ. 2, Κεντρική και Δυτική Μακεδονία, Θράκη – Νότια πρώην Γ. Δ. της Μακεδονίας, Νότια Βουλγαρία (Δρόμοι του Ορθοδόξου Μοναχισμού), Αθήνα 1999• Γ. ΠΑΠΑΤΣΑΡΟΥΧΑΣ, Πρόσωπα και τοπωνύμια της βυζαντινής Ξάνθειας, Θρακικά Χρονικά 41 (1986)• Χ. ΜΠΑΚΙΡΤΖΗΣ, Βυζαντινή Θράκη, 330-1453, Θράκη, Αθήνα 1994• Μ. ΚΟΥΚΟΣ, Στα βήματα του Ορφέα. Οδοιπορικό της Θράκης, Αλεξανδρούπολη 1991• Γ. ΧΡ. ΤΣΙΓΑΡΑΣ, Ιερός Ναός Αγίου Νικολάου Πόρτο Λάγους, στο: Θρησκευτικά Μνημεία στο Νομό Ξάνθης, επιμέλεια: Γεώργιος Χρ. Τσιγάρας, Ξάνθη 2005.