The Castle City of Mystras / Church of Agios Nikolaos:
The church of Agios Nikolaos is the sole church of such a scale that was built after the surrender of the castle city to the Ottoman Turks in 1460. The church was built in the 17th century and is devoted to Saint Nicholas, the painting follows the style of the 17th century that is also observed in the general area of Laconia.
Every inch of the church would be covered in frescoes, depicting episodes from the life of the saint and key figures of Orthodox Christianity.
The representation of the figures in Byzantine iconography is pretty much “historically authentic”, meaning that each individual is depicted in the manner of dress of their time and status. What is most interesting are the archangels, specifically the archangel Michael (far right) who is depicted usually in Roman armor- like some military saints as well. Despite the fact that the Roman Empire persecuted christianity at a great extent, with its division to Eastern and Western, the Eastern Roman Empire, what is commonly referred as Byzantium, became a champion of Christian faith. Dressing the archangel as a Roman general can be seen as a willing assimilation of Roman ideals into Christianity, in a form of reconciliation, but it also has some very strong propagandistic overtones.