The Church

It has a regular layout and it is subdivided into three liturgical spaces: the presbytery with three small apses, the bay and two balconies for the gynaeceum and the choir.
The magnificent iconostasis divides the presbytery reserved to the priests from the bay dedicated to the believers.
The bay has a marble floor with black and white squares and has been refined with stalls along the walls. At its core, among large branched candlesticks, the icon of Saint Nicolò is placed besides the icon reminding of the current festivity, which is on the proskinitirion provided.
The great canvas portraying Christ in glory surrounded by angels covers the whole horizontal ceiling and is rich in effects of perspective, featuring balustrades and glimpses of classical-oriented architecture.
The painting (oil on canvas) can be ascribed to an anonymous Greek painter, mainly educated at the Ionic Academy of Panaghiotis Doxaras (1662-1729) but also touched by influences of the Venetian School. Between the windows, there are images of the Evangelists and the Apostles.
On the side walls, two large paintings of Cesare dell’Acqua from Pirano (1821) portraying the Preaching of John the Baptist to the left and Christ among the Children to the right. The painting above the right door portrays Filoxenia, which is to say Abraham welcoming angels. It can be ascribed to the same artist of the ceiling canvas.

In the Orthodox places of worship, the iconostasis separates the presbytery from the believers and diffuses a sense of richness thanks to its shiny silver that frames and covers the icons contained.
The core of the sacred place, it was crafted by an unknown carver and shows the influence of the Empire style in its general layout and of the Baroque style in its decorations. 
It is similar to the one made by Treppan (1794) for the old church of San Spiridione. It is made up of three sections and leads to the presbytery through three doors known as “regal doors”: the door panels are made of carved and gilt wood and have tempera-painted ovals placed in their centre.
The crowning, featuring spirals and volutes, hosts the Crucifix, between the Holy Virgin and Saint John. It was decorated with the symbols of the Evangelists by the same hand that crafted the “regal doors”.
The three canvas of the upper section portray Jesus in the Gethsemane, the Deposition and the Noli Me Tangere.
In the mid section, the iconostasis contains twenty-one tempera-painted icons on gold-background boards. They represent Jesus’ Life, from the Annunciation to the Ascension, by the Greek painter Giovanni Trigonis. During the year these are displayed on the proskinitirion to be worshipped by the believers.
Trigonis came from the Ionian Islands and worked in Trieste from 1786 to 1833. Here he set up a painting school that, later, was handed down to his son.
Remarkable are the eight despotic icons of the lower section, crafted by Trigonis: six of the wonderful silver-embossed covers are dated 1839-1856 and ascribed to the Greek artist Costantino Ghertzos, who worked in Venice. From left to right, these icons portray Saint George, Saint Spiridione, Saint Nicolò, the Holy Virgin with the Child, Christ on his Throne, the Trinity, Saint John Prodromos and Saint Catherine.
The two icons at the sides, representing Saint George and Saint Catherine, have covers crafted by Russian goldsmiths in 1848 and by a Triestine artist respectively.
When the church was consecrated (1787), the Greek Community of Jerusalem donated eight small icons reproducing on a reduced scale the images of the large icons described above, since the silver covers allow to glimpse only a few details. These icons are displayed on elegant bottom shelves and can be ascribed to an artist that assimilated late baroque patterns despite working in the Palestinian area.
The presbytery altars can be seen from the “regal doors” of the iconostasis. They are located within small apses. 
The central apse hosts frescoes portraying Saint John, Saint James, Saint Basil and Saint Athanasius, surrounding the Most Holy Trinity and the Holy Virgin. The left apse hosts the Nativity while the right apse hosts the Deposition from the Cross.
The wooden pulpit, richly decorated with golden stuccoes, features four tempera-painted panels representing the four Evangelists, while the small entrance door contains the Christos Basileus. All paintings are by Trigonis. The pulpit is crowned by an Austrian frieze, meaning gratitude for the concession received by the Community from the Sovereigns of Austria when the church was built.
The balconies, located above the entrance door and partially to the sides, are supported by shelves and columns. The lower balcony was once used as a gynaeceum. It is decorated with ten oil-on-canvas panels that can be ascribed to the same hand that crafted the upper section of the iconostasis. They represent scenes from the Bible, which are (in order): the Sacrifice of Isaac, Jesus’ Entrance to Jerusalem, the Creation of Eve, Christ Driving the Merchants from the Temple and Jacob’s Dream.
The upper balcony constitutes the stand for the singers. It is decorated with canvases representing Abel’s Death, Jonas Escaping from the Whale and Noah’s family after the Flood.
During the Holy Week and Easter festivities, particularly heartfelt celebrations take place: The Holy Sepulchre is represented through the Epitafios, a wooden sculpture of the late 18th century that can be ascribed to a local handicraft workshop.
Suspended on 10 small columns, the canopy is surmounted by three domes. In its upper part, fourteen polychrome boards describe Christ’s Passion and Death, from the prayer in the garden to the deposition from the cross.
It is preserved in the Community’s internal rooms together with other pieces of furniture such as paintings, icons of the Cretan, Venetian-Cretan and Russian schools and sacred vases which do not have a place in the church but bear witness of the history and culture of the Community, and of its bond with the traditions of the homeland.
The Community had its own school from 1830 to 1932 and the deceased rested in its original graveyard on the Montuzza hill. Since 1830, these have been placed in the cemetery area of Saint Anne. The small church, consecrated to the Holy Apostles, was decorated by the same artists that, in those years, worked in the temple near the sea.
The Eastern Greek Community is part of the Orthodox Catholic Church, the one of the first seven Ecumenical Councils. Its faith has been kept unaltered so far, according to the Holy Writ and the Apostles’ Tradition.
The Head of the Church is Jesus Christ and every local church is autocephal and ruled by the Synod of the Bishops. The primate of each church is the executive body of the Synod decisions.
The Greeks are members of the ecumenical movement for Christian unity.
The Orthodox Church is a founding member of the World Alliance of (Reformed) Churches.