Cathedral of Christ the Saviour


The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is the main cathedral of the Russian Orthodox church located near the Kremlin on the left bank of the Moskva River. It is the largest cathedral of the Russian Church designed for 10 000 people, built in the tradition of Russian-Byzantine style, and enjoyed the broad support of the state at the start of construction. The structure of a modern complex of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour includes the Upper Church, actually the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and the Lower Church, Transfiguration Church, built in the memory of the Alexis Convent. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow was built as gratitude to God for help and intercession in the difficult period of Russian history — during the War of 1812. This is a monument to the Russian people for their courage and heroism. The author of the first project was architect Alexander Vitberg. October 12, 1817, there was the solemn laying of the church on the Sparrow Hills. The building was to consist of three parts — the Incarnation, the Transfiguration, and the Resurrection. Soon the ground of the hill began to sink under the weight of the constructing building.

Emperor Nicholas, I found the project by Vitberg unsuccessful and unworkable. In 1832, Konstantin Thon was appointed as the architect. It was decided to begin construction near the Kremlin, on the site of a former Alexis Convent, that was to be destroyed. At that time, one of the nuns of the destroyed convent said that the new church would not stay there for more than 50 years. On September 10, 1839, the church building was laid. In 1860, the cathedral was first brought before the Muscovites. May 26, 1883, the cathedral was consecrated. Since 1918, the cathedral completely lost the support of the state, and on December 5, 1931, it was destroyed by order of Joseph Stalin. The predictions of the nun came true — the cathedral had been staying for 48 years. In 1958-1960 there was constructed a swimming pool in place of the pit formed after the explosion. In the late 1980s, there was created a social movement for the revival of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. On the night of 6 to 7 of January 2000, the shrine was restored. The Divine Liturgy was held here in honor of two thousand years after the birth of Christ. August 19, 2000, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II performed the complete consecration of the shrine in honor of the birth of Christ.

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