Photographer's Note

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was constructed to commemorate the fallen, and to give thanks to God that Russia was saved from devastation by invasion of Napoleon in 1812. The Emperors Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II and Alexander III decreed the construction of the Cathedral. It was planned by famous architect Konstantin Ton, the founder of so-called Russian-Byzantine style. However, it differs from Byzantine archetypes with its' more regular shape and lighter form. The cornerstone was laid on September 10, 1839 but the whole construction of the cathedral took 45 years (1839-1883). I should mention, that it was built by donations from people all over Russia. This church symbolized that Russias greatest strength was its faith. It became a place of prayer and gratitude to the holy patrons and heavenly protectors of the Russian land, and to the Savior, Jesus Christ.

In Soviet times it was demolished per the decision of Stalin (in 1931). By destroying it, he was trying to crucify Russia, her history and culture, her past and her people. They planned to build a grandiose Palace of Soviets on the site of the Cathedral. It was intended to become the largest building in the world, but the construction didn't take place. The legens says that all attempts to build it were unsuccessful for different reasons. For many years on this site yawned a huge cavity, and then the large swimming pool "Moskva" was constructed.

It has been rebuilt in 1994-2000 per the decision of mayor of Moscow Y. Luzhkov and by the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II, the Holy Synod and all Russian Orthodox Church. The construction was carried out by the voluntary public and private contributions. All the arcitecture, mozaic, paintings were restored.

Its recent reconstruction affirms that Russia is ready to recover its own soul, and gives the hope for her continuing spiritual revival. This Great Church had been, and has become again a center of spiritual and cultural life in Moscow and Russia. No other monument in Russia could be compared with Christ the Savior Cathedral - it reflects the national soul and is truly "the Great Church of Russia".

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Additional Photos by Katia Danilkina (tigra) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 582 W: 154 N: 532] (2968)
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