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The unparalleled magnificence of the church of Saint Nicholas made the temple the pride of the islanders. Its construction begun in 1857 and was finished by 1862.The significance of the monument to the people of the time is testified by the multiple private plots of land sold to meet its outrageous cost of 40.00 kurus. The temple stood for the greater part of 70 years until the earthquake of the 23rd of April 1933 which caused irreversible damage necessitating its demolition in 1934.
The demolition work was entrusted to the Italian firm of "Sardeli"> Their efforts were concentrated on the consvervation of the marble altarpiece, the marble Episcopal throne and the marble tiles.
The painstaking work was supervised by the mechanic Coccheri and his partners. Coccheri is said in fact to have been miraculously saved from an 8 meter fall from the temples ceiling. The accident was interpreted by the townspeople as a portent, signifying the self sacrifice demanded for the completion of the work, earning Cocherri a golden cross granted to him by Arch bishop Philimonas. In the meantime by the end of 1935 the Italians declared Saint Nicholas, patron of the island erecting his statue over a cranny, siting upon two arches, overlooking Miaoulis beach.
After the demolition, the Italian tetrarch, governor of the Dodecanese Cesare Maria De Vechi denied every request of the islanders to be granted permission for the reconstruction, but was persuaded otherwise when a cyclone hit and destroyed the Italian hydroplanes in the sea within the temple's vicinity, believing the phenomenon to be the manifestation of divine will. The new church of Saint Nicholas was rebuilt between 1937 and 1939. The expenditure for the reconstruction reached 350.000 aigrettes and such the temple was rebuilt from its roots.
Kos celebrates its patron Saint with the utmost religious respect and festive spirit on the 6th of December. The celebration is marked by the great evening mass lead by the archbishop of Kos and Nisyros. The liturgy is carried out by priests of the city and is attended by represntatives of the army, the navy, the state and local authorities.
Text Source: www.kos.gr