The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is the largest church in the Russian Church. Its height is 105 meters and its capacity is 10,000 people. The temple was built in 2000. Therefore, it can be called one of the youngest attractions in Moscow. Once the construction was completed, it became the same symbol of the capital as the Kremlin, the St. Basil’s Cathedral or the Red Square. In addition to the believers who use the temple, so to speak, for their intended purpose, they come here just to look at this miracle of architectural thinking, take a picture in context.
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is located on the banks of the Moskva River, and on the opposite bank there is a patriarchal pedestrian bridge. This bridge is a good place for photography. Standing on it, the bottom of the photo can serve as the temple itself, or the Moscow river with the Kremlin in the distance or a monument to Peter the Great, which is also clearly visible from this bridge.
The temple is located about 10 minutes walk from the Moscow Kremlin, and can be a continuation of tourism in the center of the capital. I would even say that if you have not seen the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you have not yet examined all the places of interest in the center of Moscow.
The history of the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior
On December 25, 1812, Russian Emperor Alexander I published the Manifesto, according to which a church would be built in Moscow in honor of the victory of the Russian people in the Patriotic War of 1812 over Napoleon. As noted in the Manifesto, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior is a sign of gratitude to God for intercession and help, as well as in memory of those who died in the battles for the freedom of the Fatherland.
The idea of building a temple-monument was proposed not by the emperor himself, but by the army general M.A. Kikin, who through Admiral A.S. Shishkov gave it to Alexander I. The very idea of building a church was widely supported by all sectors of society.
Then, two competitions were held for the construction of the temple: the first during the reign of Alexander I, and the second already under Nicholas I. The first competition was presented by 20 different projects of the most famous Russian architects of the time, but the Emperor Alexander I preferred the project of A. Vitberg, which provided that the cathedral would consist of three parts that symbolize the Incarnation, Transfiguration and Resurrection. At the same time, it was planned to bury the remains of the soldiers who fell during the war with Napoleon in the lower temple. It was decided to build the temple in Sparrow Hills. For the construction allocated 16 million rubles. Treasury and large national donations.
However, Emperor Nicholas I, who succeeded Alexander I on the throne, considered that the project was unsuccessful and completely halted its implementation. The official version of the construction stop said that due to the severity of the construction and the presence of underground currents, the ground under construction began to sink, so the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on the Sparrow Hills is impossible .
In 1831, Nicholas I entrusted the construction of the temple to the architect Konstantin Ton. It was decided to erect a temple on the site of the Alekseevsky Convent, from where the cathedral was visible from all points of Moscow, this also emphasized the connection of the temple with the culture and history of Russia. There is a legend according to which one of the nuns, due to the transfer of the Alekseevsky monastery, cursed this place and predicted that no building could remain there for more than 50 years.
As a result, after almost 60 years of construction, the great five-domed temple of the downtown type, which had a huge central chapter and four bell towers in the corners, became a reality. The cathedral itself had the regular shape of an equilateral cross. The architectural feature of the temple was the use within another equilateral cross, which allowed the central volume to be released and not crowded with supports.
After the war, the idea of building the Palace of the Soviets was abandoned, and in 1958-1960. On the site of the foundation pit that remains of the temple, a pool is being built, which existed until 1994.
With the onset of perestroika, a social movement has emerged in Russia, whose main objective is the resurgence of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and in 1989 the decision was made to restore it. In 1992, Russian President B. Yeltsin signed a decree “On the establishment of a Moscow Renaissance Fund”, according to which it was planned to first restore the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. In 1994, the Moscow government, together with the Moscow Patriarchate, reached an agreement on the restoration of the cathedral, after which the dismantling of the pool began, and on January 7, 1995, the first stone was laid .
The architectural project was developed with the participation of the academic M. Posokhin (chief architect), architects A. Obolensky, A. Denisov, D. Solopov. During the construction of the temple, a special commission was created, whose main objective was to ensure that the temple corresponded exactly to historical technologies and patterns, as well as to all the canons of the church. The finishing and works of art were made by members of the Russian Academy of Arts under the guidance of the academic Z. Tsereteli. As a result, the temple was restored as close as possible to the original, however, there are a number of differences. Then, the new building received a basement, which houses a museum, a conference room and technical services.
The construction of the revived temple progressed quite quickly, and in 2000 all the work was completed. The great consecration of the temple was made by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II on August 19, 2000.