Religious attractions you should visit while in Russia
If you are a spiritual person and a lover of religiously-significant sites, Russia offers you plenty of attractions. It’s a matter of which spiritually-significant places appeal to you the most.
Here are three religious sites that you should consider visiting while in Russia:
1. The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is an Orthodox Church that is one of the popular Saint Petersburg places to visit for Russian tourists. Construction of the church began in 1883 during the reign of Alexander III. And it was completed in 1907 during the reign of Nicholas II. Currently, the building is a secular museum.
If you love Russian Revival architecture, then the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is an excellent place to visit. It features about 7500 square meters of intricate mosaic designs. Many of these artworks show Biblical scenes.
It’s worth noting that this Church has a shrine built on the spot where Alexander II was assassinated.
2. The Novodevichy Convent
Novodevichy Convent is also known as Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery. It is one of the most famous cloisters in Russia. And it’s associated with the Russian Orthodox Church.
Novodevichy Convent is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent was built in the early 1500s. And since the 17th Century, it has been well preserved.
But unlike other religious buildings, this one was also designed to be a fortress. It also had cultural and political significance. Women from the tsarist dynasty as well as those from wealthy and noble families who took the veil resided in the convent.
If you are looking to see Moscow Baroque architecture, then the Novodevichy Convent is the place to be. But in addition to enjoying a guided tour of the convent, you can also visit Novodevichy Cemetery, which is the burial site of famous Russians like Boris Yeltsin.
Other activities you can engage in include attending the liturgical services, touring the convent museums, etc.
3. The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed
The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed was named after Vasily (Basil, the fool for Christ). He was said to have prophetic gifts. Ivan the Terrible greatly respected him. And he got labeled as a “holy fool” because he was willing to engage in humiliating acts for the greater glory of God. The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed is one of the most recognizable cultural symbols of Russia. It is an Orthodox Church built in Moscow’s Red Square. The construction of the church started in 1555 upon the orders of Ivan the Terrible. It was completed in 1561.
The Cathedral has 10 domes that correspond to 10 churches. And each dome resembles a bonfire flame that rises into the skies. Within one of the chapels is a crypt in which Vasily’s body resides.
Currently, the church is a museum. And it has been part of UNESCO’s world heritage site since 1990.
You can tour the place to view all the historical, architectural, and artistic features. But if you are interested in the spiritual aspect of the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, then you can attend the Christian services each week.
Russia has a rich and very long history during which time religion played a significant role in daily life. As a result, it offers you plenty of attractions as far as religious sites go. You may not even get the chance to view them all. But if you have a Russian visa, then you could visit as a tourist, and see a few of the spiritually-significant attractions. It will be an experience that you won’t forget.
Story by Killian Dunne