Panagia tis Nikis (Our Lady of the Victory)

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What may today be seen on the site where the church of Panagia tis Nikis has, since 1856, been estimated to have stood, are some vestiges, forming part of the Jewish Quarter. Eventually a structural feature of the fortification works in this specific area, this site pertained the district defended by the Knights of the Tongue of Italy. The location of the vestiges actually made it easier for specialists to identify what the church has been since, according to tradition, that was the site where the fiercest battle to push back the Ottomans during the 1480 siege of the city, hence the Knightly Order’s resolution to commission the construction of two churches, namely one for the Roman Catholic rite – which was to become Our-Lady-of-the-Victory and one for the Greek Orthodox rite, to honour those who fell in duty. The Greek Orthodox church was to be dedicated to Saint Panteleimon, as the very last day of battle coincided with said saint’s name day.
Oddly enough, there are also certain coats of arms, pertaining to Grand Masters of the Order whose mandate had been anterior to that first siege of the Ottomans: for those who estimate this particular church to have been erected at a time prior to the construction of this section of the fortification wall, it is as yet to be concluded with absolute certainty whether the vestiges now seen on this site are indeed what remains of the church of Our-Lady-of-the-Victory, commissioned by the Order of the Knights of St. John, in the aftermath of the 1480 victory.

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Panagia tis Nikis (Our Lady of the Victory)
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