Smyrna Fire - First Divine Liturgy in 90+ Years in Only Church to Survive

Published in The Pappas Post, August 18, 2014
Authored by Chrysovalantis Stamelos

Izmir, Turkey - The Greek Church of Agios Voukolos (Aya Vukla in Turkish) in the city of Izmir has just celebrated its first liturgy after 92 years.  Located in the Basmane district, a historically Greek and Armenian neighborhood, the newly restored church held a service open to the city and its community.  The church is mentioned prominently in Giles Milton's Paradise Lost. . . . 

According to Orthodox Christian historians, Saint Voukolos (Vukla) was the first Christian bishop of Smyrna, and was a student of Saint John the Evangelist.  The church of Agios Voukos is the only remaining original Greek Orthodox church left standing in downtown Izmir dating to the Ottoman Smyrna era around the 1860s.

The church was unaffected by the catastrophic fire which engulfed the city in 1922, and was restored in 2008 as a cultural center. . . .