10 15 Years To Bring the Cathedral Back to Life

15 Years To Bring the Cathedral Back to Life

Posted on August 13, 2012 by team

They have been restoring the Dormition of the Theotocos Cathedral for 15 years! One more year has left.

The Cathedral was built in the beginning of the 20th century though here was a skating-rink in the Soviet time.

The walls were painted grey. Now the restorators are removing the layer of paint with chemicals and then the drying oil with a scalpel.

Not so many paintings have been preserved well…

Oil paints and some inspiration


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10 Responses to “15 Years To Bring the Cathedral Back to Life”

  1. Mike says:

    How do they know all the detail to restore if so much has vanished with time? Where exactly is this church?

  2. Sochi says:

    Today they can even restore the old frescos and mosaics of the hagia sophia in Istanbul(Constantinople) although the turks have desecrated and destroyed most of them more than 450 years ago. You have to recover the layer under the paint and than you can try to reconstruct most of it. Where you don´t have traces or old pictures or descriptions anymore you have to use your imagination. Still, there is a certain technique and style used in the byzantine-orthodox tradition, so even if you have nothing left anymore you can still come close to the original.

  3. America Says says:

    Opulence, the Eastern Orthodox Church has it! Why are the allowed to live like Kings?

    • dude says:

      Sure every church has a degree of opulence, however this church doesn’t seem to display much of that. In some cases the churches are really nice and the living quarters are very basic. Remember nobody actually lives inside churches/temples, so they are not a true unit of opulence. The bmw, mercedes and fancy watches are however.

      • America Says says:

        I wasn’t talking about this one Church. I’m talking about the Church hierarchy walking around gilded in gold adornments, expensive watches, while being chauffeured around in luxury bullet proof limousines and living in stunning opulence like Kings, all off the backs of their congregations.

        By comparison spending 15 years and Lord only knows how much money restoring this one Church is a drop in the bucket.

        • Sochi says:

          I don´t see the problem with restoring this beauty? Apart from the cultural reasons, it gives employment to artists.
          But when it comes the orthodox church officials, tell me what is the difference to a latin cardinal, let alone the pope, or a head of a protestant church wearing tailored saville-row suits? Even the high ranking ulema in islam wears gilded garments.
          And yes, as they are high ranking officials they are being chauffered in safe saloon cars. Remeber what happend in Tatarstan recently? The islamists blew up the imam of Tatarstan and his deputy, who died on the spot.

  4. Sochi says:

    It is not about opulence, but about dedication. Especially the icons have a higher meaning, because it is said that they can be windows between those who pray in front of them and the holy figures depicted there. So the idea is that You would not spend the gold and silver on the imperial palace or some other senseless stuff, but use it to make the icon more beautiful. In the old days the icons would be paraded on the imperial carriage and the czar or emperor would walk on foot next to it. Therein is the modesty.

    • America Says says:

      Today the icons seems to be the Church hierarchy itself, who are made more beautiful by the gold and silver that adorns them.

      • Sochi says:

        You would be suprised that these clerical garments are sometimes much less expensive than some british or italian tailors, where suits can cost you easily up to 5000USD, (not including the shirt, the belt, the shoes, adding up for another 5,000 USD for only one set of course, then is the watch etc.). There are hand-made in Greece and Russia in monasteries or workshops owned by the church.

  5. OLUT says:

    I photographed a wedding in an Orthodox church a few years ago, which was also being restored. It wasn’t an easy job because there were large patches of white, all over the place. Unfortunately, many of the empty areas were found in my photos. Once the restoration was finished it looked beautiful.

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