A look to the past
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of Moscow was originally built between 1839 and 1883, commissioned by Tsar Alexander I in honour of those who died in the Patriotic War of 1812. Its design was based on the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, present-day Istanbul.
After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the cathedral fell victim to the state's anti-religious campaign, and it was demolished in 1931. Stalin's plans to use the plot to build the tallest skyscraper in the world failed due to a lack of funding and the German invasion during World War II, but eventually the land found a new use. The largest swimming pool in the world, heated so it could be used all year round, opened there in 1958.
In 1994, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the swimming pool was closed and a year later construction begin to rebuild the church to its former glory. In 2000, the new Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was consecrated.
Exploring the cathedral
Behind an imposing façade of white stone and marble and under five golden Byzantine-style domes, the enormous interior is equally as spectacular as the exterior. Polished granite and stone floors in striking colours lie below magnificently decorated frescoes and altars.
In line with its original dedication, the icons, images and sculptures which fill the church pay tribute to those who gave their lives for the country during the Patriotic War of 1812.
One of the most interesting things to do when visiting the cathedral is climbing up to the domes, which have several exterior terraces offering beautiful panoramic views over Moscow.
Worth a visit
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow is the second tallest Orthodox temple in the world and one of the most important places of worship in the city, along with the beautiful Saint Basil's Cathedral. It is worth a visit especially to enjoy the panoramic views it offers.
Being located very close to the Pushkin Museum means you can make the most of your time in the area of the city and visit both on the same day!
Daily from 8 am to 6 pm.
Opening times may vary according to the date.
Climbing up the domes: 400 RUB.
Metro: Kropotkinskaya, línea 1.