Monday, January 5, 2015

I can't believe I am in Russia- Day 7- Spilled Blood, Our Lady of Kazan, and St Isaacs (St Petersburg)

I knew when planning my trip to Russia that I shouldn't be disappointed if I didn't accomplish a lot in one day.  I am glad that I went in with this mindset because my day started late and ended early.  Being outside in the cold all day is exhausting, and the short days and lack of sun is not encouraging (this picture was taken at 10 in the morning).
Today my goal was to see the Church on Spilled Blood, and if nothing else worked out I would have been perfectly content.

The morning started cold and snowy but things changed quickly when the sun came out, or so I thought. It felt like it had been forever since I had seen the sun, but it was dispiriting. 
The sun was broken. 
It looked like 99.8% of the mass of our solar system, but it didn't feel like it. 
What a difference 27° latitude makes.

The Church on Spilled Blood was built on the exact location where, in 1881, Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. Alexander III wanted a permanent memorial for his father, and two years after the death of the second, the foundation was laid for the church.  

The tallest steeple towers at 81 meters; all five domes are covered with jewelers enamel and so do not fade or change colors.   

Specificity is key.  There is nothing worse than gum and/or ice cream.  

Church on Spilled Blood is one of the most spectacular churches I have ever seen.  Pictures do not do it justice.  It is so impressive, and so marvelous.  
The interior is covered with 7,000 square meters of gorgeous mosaics,  It looks like the walls are painted in pictures, but it is pure mosaics.  

After the Church of Spilled Blood I walked to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, just ten minutes away by foot.  

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was inspired by St. Peters in Rome.  
The curved colonnade is 111 meters long, and has 96 columns.  
The church was closed in 1932, and reopened as the Museum of  Religion and Atheism.  It took 18 years to restore after religion was openly accepted again.  Religious services resumed in 1991.  

This was the line for Our Lady of Kazan (a holy icon representing the Virgin Mary); if I am going to wait in a line this long there better be a ride at the end.  

Russians desire to kiss the icon.  It brings good luck, and is a natural flu shot.  
The icon was found in Kazan in the 1500s, and has preformed many miracles.  It survived a fire, has cured blind people, and much more.  
Although this is a replica of the original it is still considered holy.

I continued on down Kanala Griboedova to Dank Bridge, a pedestrian bridge whose cables are held by cast iron griffons.  I was quick to take pictures because as soon as anyone sees you take a picture they want to take a picture too.  This place was packed by the time I left.  

I was on a cathedral roll., but the dome of St Isaac's Cathedral included a panoramic city view.  Weighing 300,000 tons, St. Isaac's is one of the world's largest cathedral.  Thousands of pieces of wood (and bones) were sunk into the marshy ground to support its weight.  It was opened in 1858, but just like Our Lady of Kazan, was closed temporarily and reopened as an atheism museum.    

The bronze and oak doors alone weigh 20 tons.

Peace out, Jesus.  

1 comment:

  1. I was blown away by your photo at 10 AM. I can see how difficult several days in a row, like that, would affect you. Did the VODKA help?

    I love all the churches being turned into Atheist Museums. I had to do more research. I found this:

    The 1920s and early ‘30s saw a complete reorganization of museums in the Soviet Union. They had a new purpose: to help in the broad education of the masses - and in particular the promotion of a Marxist understanding of history - and to support the Five Year Plan. To effect this new mission museums adopted a completely new approach, involving quite new display techniques and an elaborate program of outreach. This new museology made possible anti-religious museums, a Soviet invention that for the first time assembled religious artifacts and used them to attack both the institutions of religion and religion itself.

    ***Initially this was by exposing the crimes and tricks of the clergy; later it was also by promoting the rival claims of science, and by showing how religion developed in all parts of the world along with the Marxist phases of social development, and had become a handmaiden of bourgeois capitalism. Hmm. Interesting right?

    Anyway, I love the photos. The churches really are works of art. I wonder how the starving masses viewed all the wealth!

    As for your comment about waiting in line and having a ride at the end. I laughed out loud. I so agree with you. So no kissing the icon then? Maybe the vodka keeps it sanitary.

    Looks like Day #7 was exceptional. I'm so happy to be there with you!!! Fun stuff. Wow. AND educational.


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