Polski  |
www.odyssei.com - home pageOdyssei VIDEOOdyssei FORUM
www.odyssei.com/en/ - home page

Home » Russia » The Cathedral of Christ the Savior

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Russia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Joshua Brook
Displayed:   times.

The enormous gleaming golden dome and gigantic structure of the newly built Cathedral of Christ the Savior is visible from all over central Moscow and is the largest church in Russia. The original Cathedral was built by the architect Konstantin Ton between 1839 and 1881 to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon in the Napoleonic Wars. The church was later demolished in 1933 on Stalin's orders, but was built anew in the 1990s.

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was originally commissioned by Emperor Alexander I in an Imperial decree on Christmas day, December 25, 1812. In celebration of Russia's dubious victory against Napoleon and having driven the French leader and his 600,000 troops from Russian soil, the Emperor thanked God and the Russian people for the triumph and ordained the construction of a memorial temple to Christ the Savior.

The original site chosen for the cathedral was in fact the Sparrow Hills, where the impressive Moscow State University now stands today, but for various reasons construction on the site was never begun and the idea was forgotten for 20 years.
After Alexander I's death in 1825, his younger brother, Nicholas, ascended the Russian throne. Remembering Alexander's wish, Nicholas I instructed that architectural designs should once again be submitted for the building of the memorial temple. From the multitude of submitted designs, one by a member of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, the architect Konstantin Ton, received Imperial approval on April 10, 1832. Nicholas chose the new site of the cathedral himself - a slightly raised area on the left bank of the Moscow River, near the Kremlin and home to the medieval Alekseevsky Convent. The convent was relocated to the village of Krasnoye, near Sokolniki, and construction began on the cathedral site in 1839.

Ton's original neo-Russian design mirrored the traditional plan of a Russian Orthodox Church but on an unprecedented scale, causing much controversy over its proportions and aesthetic qualities. Despite considerable debate about its design, the church was finally completed some 40 years later in 1881 and lavishly decorated, although none of its original decor survived the Bolshevik assault of the 1930s.

The church was demolished in 1933 in order to free the land for the construction of a House of Soviets - a massive skyscraper intended to house various government authorities and promote the Soviet regime. The building was to be topped with a 100-meter-tall aluminum statue of the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. However, due to numerous technical difficulties the building was never actually constructed and the site was instead devoted to the creation of an outdoor swimming pool, which occupied the area till the early 90s, when government officials began to seriously consider a project to rebuild the church as it had been in Ton's day.

The recreation of the Church of Christ the Savior was considered a symbol of Russia's spiritual revival after the long years of atheistic Communist rule. In the early 90s a public fund was set up to raise money for the costly project. The reconstruction raised considerable patriotic feeling amongst many Russians, although some Muscovites opposed the project on aesthetic grounds, claiming that the hastily built replica of the original church lacked elegance and balanced proportions. Many also saw the massive construction project as an entirely ego-motivated attempt by Moscow Major Yuri Luzhkov to leave his mark on the city, as many powerful rulers had done before him.

Clad in marble and granite, with huge bronze doors covered in relief depictions of the saints, the cathedral is an awesome statement of the re-found power and prestige of the Orthodox Church and one of Moscow's most impressive ecclesiastical buildings. More info on: www.moscow-taxi.com

Rate this tip:
Add Comment >>

General Tips about Russia

» Required travel documents for Russia
» Electric power
» Area code to Russia
» Weather
» Public Holidays
» Prohibited exports
» Prohibited imports
» Duty Free
» Travellers cheques
» Currency restrictions
» Credit cards
» Currency exchange
» Currency
» Money
» Moscow - transport
» Moscow - dining
» Moscow - costs
» Vyborg
» Izmailovsky Souvenir Market
» The Moscow Metro
» Moscow State University
» The Arbat
» Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
» The Tretyakov Art Gallery
» The Cathedral of Christ the Savior
» The Bolshoi Theater
» Lenin's Mausoleum
» State Historical Museum
» The Resurrection Gate
» Lobnoye Mesto
» GUM Department Store
» Kazan Cathedral
» St. Basil's Cathedral
» Red Square
» The Tsar Bell and Tsar Canon
» The Senate Building
» Presidium
» The Arsenal
» Terem Palace
» Faceted Palace
» Patriarch's Palace and Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles
» State Kremlin Palace
» Great Kremlin Palace
» Church of the Deposition of the Robe
» Ivan the Great Bell Tower
» Cathedral of the Annunciation
» Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel
» Cathedral of the Assumption
» The State Armory
» Kremlin Walls and Towers
» The Kremlin
» Zaikonospassky Monastery
» Vagankov Cemetery
» The Trinity Church in Nikitniki
» Simonov Monastery
» Novospassky Monastery
» The Metropolitan's Residence at Krutitsky
» Ivanovsky Convent
» Church of the Intercession at Fili
» Danskoi Monastery
» Danilov Monastery
» Andronikov Monastery
» Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
» Kazan Cathedral
» The Cathedral of Christ the Savior
» St. Basil's Cathedral
» Museum of Modern Art
» Roerich Museum
» Museum of Private Collections
» Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
» The Central House of Artists and the new Tretyakov Gallery
» Tretyakov Gallery
» Museum of Oriental Art
» Glinka Museum of Musical Culture
» Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art
» Bakhrushin Theater Museum
» Zoological Museum
» Politechnical Museum
» Darwin Museum
» Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics
» Museum of the Security Service
» Lenin's Mausoleum
» Krasnaya Presnya Museum of the Revolution
» Central Museum of the Revolution
» Borodino Panorama Museum
» Armed Forces Museum
» State Historical Museum
» Shchusev Architectural Museum
» Metro Museum
» Museum of the History of Moscow
» Archeological Museum of Moscow
» Yermolova Museum
» Tolstoy Estate-Museum
» Tolstoy Museum - Prechistenka Branch
» Tolstoy Museums
» Stanislavsky House-Museum
» Scriabin House-Museum
» Pushkin Memorial Apartment on the Arbat
» Pushkin Museums
» Pasternak Dacha-Museum
» Ostrovsky Estate and Museum
» Meyerhold Apartment Museum
» Mayakovsky Museum
» Lermontov House-Museum
» Dostoevsky Museum
» Chekhov House-Museum
» Andrey Rublyov Museum of Early Russian Culture and Art
» Aksakov Museum
» Tsarytsino
» Peredelkino
» Ostankino Estate
» Kuskovo Estate
» Kolomenskoe
» Klin
» Borodino
» Arkhangelskoe Estate
» Abramtsevo Estate
» The Volga
» St Petersburg
» Sochi
» Novgorod
» Moscow State University
» Moscow - The State Tretyakov Gallery
» Moscow - The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
» Moscow - Saint Basil's Cathedral
» Moscow - The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
» Ostankino
» Ostankino Tower
» Moscow Manege
» Kuskovo
» Moscow - Bolshoi Theatre
» The Trans-Siberian Railway
» Moscow - Red Square
» Moscow Kremlin

   More travel tips about Russia

Jeżeli chcesz otrzymywać nasz Newsletter, wpisz swój adres:


Regsiter Now!

Odyssei.com Community - see who's been there

  Odyssei.com forum - latest posts

   Odyssei.com travel forum

  » Russia

   Become an advisor!