Thursday, July 4, 2013

La Concepció

It was in the seventeen hundreds when British governors encouraged the arrival of foreign traders and shipowners in order to favour the trade from our port. The population growth required an expansion fo the city beyond its walls, and some new streets were planned, including the Cós de Gràcia.

The newly arrived Greek colony, which was to reach 2,000 souls, concentrated in this street and its immediate surroundings. They built the Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas and many stately homes attesting to their prosperity.

In 1768, the young Russian prince Andreas Spiridoff died of scurvy when sailing towards the Aegean with the fleet commanded by his father. As this church was the nearest Orthodox sacred ground, the unfortunate nobleman was buried here with great pomp. You can still see the tombstone grave at the church floor, written in Greek, Russian and Latin.

The return of the island to Spanish sovereignty at the end of the century brought an end to economic prosperity, the expulsion of Greeks and Jews and the confiscation of their assets, including the church of St. Nicholas, which was converted to a Catholic church under its current name of Church of the Conception. Its façade dates from the nineteenth century, but inside you can still found the typical features of Orthodox temples.


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