Cathedral of Christ the Saviour - A Bulwark in Moscow

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour stands proudly in Moscow today, as the largest church in Russia, and its enormous structure and golden domes can be seen from anywhere in Moscow. This cathedral has fought its way through centuries and was almost lost to the world completely, had it not been rebuilt in the 1990s. Thankfully, Moscow Major, Yuri Luzhkov, did not let the protests of some Muscovites deter him from completing the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, as many Muscovites accused Luzhkov of trying to leave his mark on the city, and that the replica lacked elegance and proportion. But to most Russians, the reconstruction of this cathedral evoked emotions of patriotism, by seeing a historical landmark rise again.

After Russia’s victory in the Napoleonic Wars by driving the famous Napoleon and his 600 000 troops from Russia, Emperor Alexander I commissioned the construction of the Cathedral on 25 December 1812, in celebration of victory. Alexander I chose Sparrow Hill as the site for construction but due to various reasons, the construction never got under way, and was not attempted for twenty years. Today, Sparrow Hill is home to the Moscow State University. Alexander I died in 1825 and with his brother, Nicholas taking the Russian Throne, he never forgot his brothers wish for the cathedral. Nicholas I went through many designs that were submitted by various architects, but the architect that won Nicholas’s favour was Konstantin Ton. Ton received the Imperial approval on 10 April 1832 and with the site chosen by Nicholas on the Moscow River, construction got under way in 1939. Konstantin Ton chose a neo-Russion design that mirrored the traditional Russian Orthodox Churches but on a massive controversial scale. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was finally completed 40 years later in 1881 after years of debate. Sadly, none of the original décor of the cathedral survived the assault of the Bolsheviks in 1930, and to open the land up for a House of Soviets skyscraper complete with a 100 meter tall Lenin statue, Stalin ordered the demolition of the cathedral in 1933. Technical difficulties with the envisioned building, caused the building never to be built, and the site was used as an outdoor swimming pool until the 90’s.

In the 1990s, consideration was given to rebuilding the cathedral in the same way Ton did, and now with its marble, granite and bronze doors, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour has recaptured its significance as an Orthodox Church and is the most spectacular building Moscow has to offer.


User Comments & Reviews: 0 Comment(s)

Combine Flights?

New Business Users, read more and join on the Business Affiliates page.

New Individual Users, join on the Forum Users Registration page.