Today we decided to visit one of the most well-known church of Russia - Cathedral of Christ the Saviour! With an overall height of 105 metres (344 ft), it is the tallest Orthodox church in the world.
When Napoleon Bonaparte retreated from Moscow, Emperor Alexander I signed a manifest, 25 December 1812, declaring his intention to build a cathedral in honor of Christ the Saviour "to signify Our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from the doom that overshadowed Her" and as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russian people.
The cathedral took many years to build and did not emerge from its scaffolding until 1860. The painting were overseen by Evgraf Sorokin and thereafter some of the best Russian painters continued to embellish the interior for another twenty years. The cathedral was consecrated on the very day Alexander III was crowned, 26 May 1883.
After the Revolution and, more specifically, the death of Lenin, the prominent site of the cathedral was chosen by the Soviets as the site for a monument to socialism known as the Palace of the Soviets. This monument was to rise in modernistic, buttressed tiers to support a gigantic statue of Lenin perched on top of a dome with his arm raised in the air.
On December 5th 1931, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was dynamited and reduced to rubble. It took more than a year to clear the debris from the site. Some of the marble from the walls and marble benches from the cathedral were used in nearby Moscow Metro stations. For a long time, these were the only reminders of the largest Orthodox church ever built.
The construction of the Palace of Soviets was interrupted owing to a lack of funds, problems with flooding from the nearby Moskva River, and the outbreak of war. The flooded foundation hole remained on the site until, under Nikita Khrushchev, it was transformed into the world's largest open air swimming pool, named Moskva Pool.
Finally, in February 1990, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission from the Soviet Government to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The restorer Aleksey Denisov was called upon to design a replica of extraordinary accuracy.
A construction fund was initiated in 1992 and funds began to pour in from ordinary citizens in the autumn of 1994. In this year the pool was demolished and the cathedral reconstruction commenced. About one million Muscovites donated money for the project.
The Spaso-Preobrazhensky belltower located in the lower part of Cathedral is constructed in 1998. The white limestone brought from Bethlehem was used at construction.
The Cathedral has 4 belltowers, and each is used according to its own destination. The Spaso-Preobrazhensky belltower is used at a meeting of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and at commission of religious processions.
The monument is located in the city center therefore you can enjoy such beautiful views of the old, not reconstructed quarters of Moscow around!
Especially I like this bridge - very popular place for wedding ceremonies and simply walks.
On the right you can see one of the chocolate factories oldest in Moscow, and also Peter the Great notorious statue on a ship. So many people consider that it is ugly, but it can't be demolished. The designer Zurab Tsereteli is known as a friend and favorite of Moscow's former Mayor, Yury Luzhkov, and the artist has received many municipal art commissions in recent years, such as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
The Peter the Great Statue in Moscow was designed by the Georgian designer Zurab Tsereteli to commemorate 300 years of the Russian Navy, which was started by Peter I of Russia. At 94 metres, it is the eighth tallest statue in the world.
And at the left - a view which is often printed on postcards - the Kremlin ashore. Do I need to say anything else? Fantastic!
And the monument to emperor Alexander II the Liberator of Russia from a serfdom, in fact, from slavery, is located near the temple. Alexander is represented in a military uniform and with an imperial cloak.
The five-meter bronze figure is placed on a stone pedestal with a graceful colonnade. Behind the back of the emperor two bronze lions sit. They, as a plan of author Alexander Rukavishnikov, symbolize old traditional Russia.