Sunday, August 2, 2009

United Greeks

Church of the United Greeks, LivornoNo, it is not a brand name or a shop: it's one of the two and half churches of “Via della Madonna”. Its complete name is “Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata o dei Greci Uniti”.Church of the United Greeks, LivornoThe church was built in 1606 on a project by the architect Alessandro Pieroni for the Greek sailors arrived in Livorno to serve on the ships of the Order of Saint Stephen. They were Catholics but following the the Byzantine liturgical rite.Medici coat of arms, Church of the United Greeks, LivornoThe facade was added a century later by the sculptor and architect Giovanni Baratta, who built for the church a small bell tower.Church of the United Greeks, LivornoPractically destroyed by the air raids in the last war, only the facade and the tower survived. The church was rebuilt in 1951, but the long and difficult restoration of the magnificent interior was only completed in 1985. To end this serious post in a lighter tone, you must know that, in Livorno, a compelling advice in case of recurring bad luck is: “Ma vai a fatti benedi' da' Greci” (Have yourself blessed at the church of the Greeks).

See also: Inside United Greeks
External links: Greek Byzantine Catholic Church - Eastern Catholic Churches (Wikipedia)

16 comments:

Rob said...

We have a similar expression in french: va te faire voir chez les Grecs. Stands for f... off.

Jacob said...

What a fascinating post. So glad it was renovated. Perhaps Stefano can get us inside sometime?

joo said...

Super post, the details are wonderful and the place looks fantastic.
Have a nice Sunday:)

Wonder Turquette said...

Thank you very much for this very interesting post! I didn't know there were Catholic Byzantine Greeks! In Turkey, we have Catholic and Protestant Armenian compatriots but I never saw a Catholic Greek Church. They are all Orthodoxes.

Have a beautiful Sunday! :-)

cieldequimper said...

Thank you again for a wonderfully informative post and fantastic photos. Actually, I don't know why I'm talking to a traitor! ;-) I added something onto the post about Stralsund...

Hilda said...

I'm glad that the facade survived. The details are beautiful and unless there are accurate drawings kept, they're the hardest to restore.

Now I want to know how that saying came to be.

Leif Hagen said...

Better Greeks than Geeks! That's what I always say! Greekish photos with a great Greek history!

Nikki Beaumont said...

Beautiful! I always learn something when I visit your blog. I love that! So the Greeks have the best blessings, do they? I am so glad that they saved this building. I love the detailed shots that you shared with us. I am so enjoying learning the history of your city.

Kate said...

The quote sounds like good advice! If only I were there to be blessed, but I always feel blessed when I visit your blog and view all that you share with us. I love it when bloggers add info. about the photo because I have learned so much that way. Great shots, too.

JM said...

Wonderful! Glad it's totally restored.

brattcat said...

Please slip inside when you can and take some shots to show us.

m_m said...

I like the facade and its details! Great post!

James said...

Wonderful pictures especially when enlarged.

Ellie said...

That explains it - the facade looks nothing like Greek Orthodox - very beautiful catholic facade. Typical Greek churches are mostly painted with icons and colorful bible scenes. Very beautiful photos - great subject.

Per Stromsjo said...

Persistence pays off. Having that restoration completed 34 years later must have been rewarding. I suppose some who took part didn't get to see the end result.

Tinsie said...

Hey, I can read that :-)