THE CHURCH OF SAINT NICHOLAS IN MEGAPLATANOS
The Church of Saint Nicholas in Megaplatanos is located half a kilometer south of the village, towards the village of Monastiraki. The church dates back to 1860. It is a triple-naved basilica without a dome, but with a characteristic zenana, a pulpit and a small belfry.
During the Byzantine era the zenana was used as the special place of emperors and local authorities. During the Turkish Occupation however, it was employed as a seperate place designated for women, reflective of their social isolation. The church of Saint Nicholas in Megaplatanos is decorated with an old wooden template, which dates back to the previous century.
The entrance of the church is quite impressive, as it comprises of a particularly small but heavy wooden door with an over-sized key. The people of Megaplatanos explain that the small size of the entrance door served a twofold purpose: It discouraged Turkish soldiers from entering the church horseback and at the same time aimed at the visitor's display of respect (due to the small size of the door the visitor enters the church in a bowing position). Upon entering the church, the visitor cannot help but notice the particularly large size of the walls of the church (approximately 80cm thick).
An accidental detachment of the coat of paint used in the interior of the Church exposed that a fresco covers a significant part of the interior of Saint Nicholas. All depicted saints on the fresco had their eyes gouged out, a fact attributed by tradition to vandalisms incurred during the Turkish Occupation.
The church celebrates the name of its Patron Saint on December 6th. On that special day Mass is conducted by candlelight. The building of the church has purposely been maintained without electricity, in an attempt to preserve its traditional character.