3 The Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Its Long Story

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Its Long Story

Posted on April 9, 2015 by team

In Russia military victories were often celebrated by founding churches. At the order of Alexander I in December 1812 an architectural contest was announced whose winner would make a project for the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The winning submission was artist Karl Vitberg but he turned out to be a bad executive manager. The construction of the cathedral was postponed, Vitberg himself was accused of peculation and negligence.

Construction of the cathedral, 1852.

The story of the cathedral began in December 25, 1812 when Alexander I signed a manifesto about creation of the church in honor of the victory over the Napoleon’s army. It was decided to erect the cathedral on Vorobyovy Gory but the soil turned out to be too soft there, so they started the construction near Sokolniki, the exact place was chosen by Nicholas I.

Laying of the foundation stone was solemnly held on September 10, 1837, the cathedral had been built for almost 40 years as a monument to the victory in the Civil war 1812. The consecration of the cathedral happened on May 26, 1883, on the coronation day of emperor Alexander III.

The Cathedral is a grand structure in the Russian-Byzantine style whose height is 103,3 m. Both its interior and exterior were characterized by splendour.

Consecration of the cathedral, 1883.


Confiscation of church valuables in the troublous times , 1922-1931.

1931. Demouting of the domes prior to the explosion of the cathedral.

The Cathedral was destroyed by several explosions on December 5, 1931. It took 45 minutes to take it down.

They planned to build the Palace of Soviets instead.


1969 Pool “Moscow”.

The ditch for the foundation of the Palace of Soviets was allegedly flooded and they built a pool…


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3 Responses to “The Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Its Long Story”

  1. ed brown says:

    This is the cathedral where three girls were crucified for dancing

  2. frank says:

    A beautiful cathedral no doubt.
    A minor correction, Russia did not have a civil war in 1812. The Russians did not fight amongst themselves but against the invading French.

  3. john says:


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