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The unveiling of “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Square” in Preveza

The unveiling of the plaque bearing the name of the Primate of Orthodoxy took place yesterday afternoon (Thursday, 27 June 2024) by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the mayor of Preveza Mr. Nikos Georgakos, to the sounds of the Philharmonic Band in the presence of the local authorities, institutions and the people who welcomed the Patriarch in the second public event of his two-day visit to the city of Preveza.

In his welcome, Mr. Georgakos characterized the presence of His All-Holiness as the highest honour for our historical city, emphasising that this square will forever remind everyone of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s bond with Preveza.

The president of the Municipal Council, Ms. Dimitra Aidoni, expressed her emotion for the special honour of the Patriarch’s visit, while she then read the council’s unanimous decision to name the square of Saint Nektarios.

His All-Holiness expressed his thanks for the reception, referring, among other things, to the witness that the Patriarchate gives for the preservation of religious monuments, expressing the wish that the square will forever remind the people of the city of the effort to preserve our religious heritage.

In commemoration of his visit, the Ecumenical Patriarch planted an olive tree in the courtyard of the Church as a symbol of peace and blessings.

This was followed by a special concert in the Ancient Theatre of Nikopolis held in honour of the Primate of Orthodoxy, with the Choir of Psalters, the Choirs of Armonia, Echocromata and the Municipality of Preveza filling the Ancient Theatre of Nikopolis with beautiful melodies, eliciting the warm applause of those present.

In his address, the Mayor of Preveza Mr. Georgakos, among other things, praised the struggle of His All-Holiness and referred to the important role of the Patriarchal Throne. Then the Mayor presented the Ecumenical Patriarch with an icon of Saint Nicholas.

Afterwards, the President of the Medical Association of Preveza, Dimitris Soumalevris, welcomed the Patriarch, emphasising, among other things, His All-Holiness’ struggle for the spread of Orthodoxy and, at the same time, his personal struggle for the protection of the environment and highlighting the problems related to it.

Mr. Soumalevris, on behalf of the Medical Association, presented the Ecumenical Patriarch with an Engolpion depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Divine Infant Jesus Christ in her arms and a book with the history of the Preveza Medical Association.

In his response, the Ecumenical Patriarch thanked everyone with warm words for the thoughtful gifts and referred, among other things, to the Apostle of the Nations, Saint Paul, but also to one of the most important wetlands in Greece, as he said, the Ambracian Gulf, to the Early Christian Basilicas that are in our area and also to the effort which is made for the inclusion of Nikopolis in the UNESCO listings.

Photographs: topiki foni online / Byzantine Studies Society of Preveza