Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for the Orthodox Churches


We all must have heard about how there was no religion in Russia because of Communist rule.  So, imagine my surprise when I saw so many Orthodox churches, beautifully decorated, and full of people.  Not just tourists.  Russian citizens praying and hearing mass.

How did this happen after such a long period of non-religion?

I asked our Russian guide and she explained that while the majority of churches were closed and used for other purposes, if at all, a few were left open for the old babushkas (grandmas) to use until they died.  Apparently, in their (party leaders) belief that religion would not be passed down to the younger generation because everyone was a devoted communist, they figured when the babushkas died they could shutter the remaining churches.  NOT!

While I have already posted many pictures of cathedrals and churches, here are a few more, all inside the Kremlin walls.


Ivan the Great Bell Tower next to the Church of St. John Climacus-under-the Bells (right) with Cathedral of Michael the Archangel on the left

Cathedral of the Annunciation with the Grand Palace in background

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, across the river, and seen from the Kremlin walls.

Tolkien Bonus:  O is for Orcs, the evil servants of Melkor and later Sauron.  Great crossword answer and very high on the creepy scale.


17 comments:

  1. That's a contradiction that I too have often wondered about. I still can't imagine how the Communists let these few churches stand.

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    1. Well, they used many for storage and they were badly damaged, but after the fall of the SSRs the people restored them. Their expression of faith was just amazing.

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  2. I don't think I'd ever grow tired of seeing this photos, Denise!

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    1. I'be been able to relive this trip so many times because of A to Z. Otherwise, these photos would have just sat on my computer or on Pinterest (yet to do). Glad you are enjoying them too.

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  3. I love all the gold!

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

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  4. Orthodox churches are always so beautiful...
    I guess even party leaders were afraid of their grandmothers' wrath!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. Their own grandmothers? I never even thought of that. LOL

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  5. I like that thought, one doesn't think of party leaders having grandmothers even. Wonderful churches Denise. I am so glad they have been restored. It has apparently cost a hell of a lot of money but I think it's worth it.

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    1. It's like Stalin had a mother? Really? How weird is that thought? I can't imagine what the cost to restore everything has been. I guess that is why they encourage so many tourists to visit (even if the Visa application is a strain).

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  6. Beautiful pictures! I remember asking my mom that question when I was little. She told me that no matter how much a country tries to get rid of something, like religion, there will always be people who will practise what they believe in and keep the faith. It might be under the radar but this is something that may be the only thing they have to believe in

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    1. People who had no church just worshiped in their homes. I just saw a travel program on Prague and never knew they forbade the practice of Catholicism at one time, so folks just did it unknown to the authorities.

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    2. they were under communist rule so they could not either

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  7. I'd read about people continuing to practice in their homes or at secret meeting places during the years they weren't allowed to practice publicly. Where there is a will, there is a way... These are breathtaking photos... Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. I am busy trying to pin some of these photos to Pinterest. They look better than I thought they would when I was photographing.

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  8. Just 'Wow'. Those churches are beautiful!

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    1. Wow is a very popular comment I would never have associated with Russia before my trip.

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  9. I love those onion domes. I wish I'd visited the Russian church in Nice.

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