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St. Nicholas Church welcomes visitors as World Trade Center site enters new phase

Mar 23, 2023
“For they gave their lives for the common weal, and in so doing won for themselves the praise which grows not old and the most distinguished of all sepulchers—not that in which they lie buried, but that in which their glory survives in everlasting remembrance.”

The line from the funeral oration given by Athenian politician Pericles in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, carved into the gleaming marble at the entrance to Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, pays tribute to people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. That translucent marble cladding, quarried from the same mountain near Athens as the marble used in the construction of the Parthenon, lets daylight filter into the sanctuary and a warm golden glow radiate outward at night.

Visitors from around the globe at the World Trade Center site are coming to Saint Nicholas to pay their respects, appreciate the striking design by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and see murals painted in the Greek monastic community of Mount Athos. Among other religious themes including scenes from the life of Saint Nicholas, those murals depict the Twin Towers under attack, first responders who lost their lives on 9/11, and a contemporary view of Lower Manhattan.

The scene at the World Trade Center depicted in this view continues to evolve, not only with visitors arriving at Saint Nicholas, but also with opening of the new Perelman Center for the Performing Arts, which will to host or dance, theater, music, opera, film, and more, slated for later this year. Additional spaces at Saint Nicholas will also open to the public in the future, including a dedicated bereavement space.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) provided major grant support to Saint Nicholas, as well as to the Perelman Center in honor of Vartan and Clare Gregorian. Between the two structures sit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, to which SNF is a founding donor.

This Saint Nicholas, dedicated in 2021, replaces an original Saint Nicholas that was destroyed in the 2001 attacks.