The church that was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks has reopened

Over two decades ago, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at 130 Liberty Street in downtown Manhattan was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks. Specifically, planes hijacked by Al Qaeda crashed into the landmark and caused the South Tower of the Trade Center to collapse. The destruction, in turn, buried the church

This week, following plenty of construction delays and financial issues, the destination re-opened to the public.

According to CBS, parishioners were able to attend mass on the same day that the Greek calendar celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas. Talk about timing.

The original church was a neighborhood parish founded by Greek immigrants in 1916, boasting a healthy following of parishioners who were extremely saddened by its destruction 21 years ago. 

The updated venue, which overlooks the memorial pools, was designed by the same architect behind the nearby Oculus transportation hub, Santiago Calatrava. 

“Calatrava took inspiration from the great churches in Constantinople,” reports CBS. “The shallow dome has 40 ribs like the dome of the Hagia Sofia in Turkey. It also serves as a shrine and memorial to those who perished on 9/11.”

Presiding priest Father Andreas Vithoulkas also spoke to reporters this week. “It’s such a source of pride and joy for the Greek Orthodox being able to once again have this jewel box built here on Ground Zero in the middle of the World Trade Center,” he said.

We cheer to new beginnings while still mourning the tragic loss of the 2,753 victims of the atrocious attacks.  

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