Church of Agios Nikolaos Orphanos, Thessaloniki

4.8
#8 of 37 in Historic Sites in Thessaloniki
Church · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Create an itinerary including Church of Agios Nikolaos Orphanos
The Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos is an early 14th-century Byzantine church in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.LocationThe church is located in the northeastern corner of the old city, just inside the eastern wall, between the Irodotou and Apostolou Pavlou streets.History and descriptionThe church's name, "Saint Nicholas the Orphan", is first attested in the 17th and 18th centuries, and presumably refers to its otherwise unknown ktetor (founder). From its interior decoration, the building is dated to the period 1310–1320. The church originally formed part of a monastery, traces of which (remnants of a gate) survive to the east.The church was originally built as a simple, single-aisled edifice with a wooden gabled roof. Later, aisles were added on three sides. They form an ambulatory, under whose floor several graves have been found. The masonry features irregular layers of brick and stone, with a few ceramics on the eastern side and brick decoration on the eastern and western sides. In the interior, the central aisle is connected to the others with double openings decorated with reused late antique capitals. The church's original marble templon survives.The church is most notable for its frescoes, contemporary with the church's construction, which cover almost the entire interior surface. The frescoes are an example of the Thessalonican school at the height of the "Palaiologan Renaissance", and their creator may be the same who decorated the Hilandar monastery in Mount Athos in 1314. The church has been linked to the Serbian king Stephen Uroš II Milutin (r. 1282–1321), who is known to have sponsored churches in the city, on account of the depiction in the main aisle of St George Gorgos, the Serbian ruler's patron saint, and of St. Clemens of Ohrid, a favourite motif of the Serbian churches. With our world travel planner, Thessaloniki attractions like Church of Agios Nikolaos Orphanos can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Church of Agios Nikolaos Orphanos reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
215 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • A 14th century it pops up among the narrow streets of the old town through the walls.It is a Catholic of the older Byzantine Monastery and still remains a part of the historic Vlatades Monastery.The.....  more
    A 14th century it pops up among the narrow streets of the old town through the walls.It is a Catholic of the older Byzantine Monastery and still remains a part of the historic Vlatades Monastery.The.....  more »
  • The Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos, an early 14th-century Byzantine church, is in the upper town, near the old western wall. The name, "the Orphan", might refer to its unknown ktetor (founder... 
    The Church of Saint Nicholas Orphanos, an early 14th-century Byzantine church, is in the upper town, near the old western wall. The name, "the Orphan", might refer to its unknown ktetor (founder...  more »
Google
  • Full activity outside the church but quiet and peaceful inside. The frescoes depicting Saint Nicholas life are beautiful! Even the wedding of Kanaan is to be seen!
  • The church is very beautiful but the priests demand ridiculous amounts of money for christenings and weddings. They ARE getting paid from the state.

Plan your trip to Thessaloniki

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.