Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and The Moscow Patriarchate Church

After the mosque, we visited so many beautiful, old churches that none of us can remember all the details exactly (except Brendan, but he’s not here to help me remember).

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (bottom photo) was magnificent. It’s listed as one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and it’s easy to believe. It seemed to me to only be a shade smaller than Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The Russians constructed it in the early 1900s in honor of the 200,000 troops who perished in the 1877-78 Russian-Ottoman war which liberated Bulgaria from the Ottomans.

The next stop was the Russian church of St. Nicholas (under the Moscow Patriarchate). It looks fairly big from the outside (see top photo), but the nave ends up being quite small inside. Underneath the church is the crypt of Archbishop Seraphim, who is revered as a saint. The most beautiful iconography adorns the walls of the small crypt (see middle two photos). It was painted by the nuns of a women’s monastery in Bulgaria.

We returned to this church in the evening to attend Saturday night Vigil. The Old Church Slavonic and distinctive Russian music really moved RM – I think it brought back a flood of church memories from childhood (he grew up in the Ukrainian Eastern Rite church).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The angel is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!