St. Basil’s Cathedral is Moscow’s most famous artistic work of architecture. Also called "Pokrovsky Cathedral" or "The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat", it is the most recognizable Russian building. This Cathedral is to the Russians what the Eiffel Tower is to the French, an honorable symbol of their past, present, and future.
The cathedral stands on the Red Square, facing the Ivory Gate Chapel. The St. Basil's Cathedral history started in 1555 by the order of Ivan IV ("Ivan the Terrible") in celebration of the defeat of Kazan, the last remaining grip of the Mongol Empire on European lands.
Today there are more than 400 icons painted between the 14th and 19th centuries by the most famous schools of Novgorod and Moscow hanging on the walls.
A narrow pathway leads you from one alter to another, passing through a wooden spiral staircase so well hidden in a wall, that it was only found during the 1970 restoration of the cathedral. Taking in the medieval aura and mystical spirituality of St. Basil’s imbues visitors with what can only be described as a quintessential Russian experience.
The Dormition (Uspenskiy) Cathedral in Vladimir is an outstanding monument of white-stone architecture of pre-Mongol Russia (the 12th century). Today, it is the cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church and the National Museum.
Church of St. John the Baptist is one of the most famous monuments of the Yaroslavl architecture. It is a monument of history and culture of world importance included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
The five-story bell tower of the Savior's Transfiguration Cathedral is decorated in the style of early classicism and decorated with baroque elements. The belltower of the cathedral impresses with its magnificence and considerable height - 94 meters.
Holy Trinity Ipatievsky Monastery is Orthodox monastery of the Russian Church. The monastery played significant role in Russian history of 16th and 17th centuries. It was first mentioned in chronicles in 1432.
This Church was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was severely wounded and died in March 1881.The church was built from 1883 till 1907. The construction was funded by the imperial family.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The Church contains over 7500 square meters of mosaics—according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
The Temple of All Religions is a cascade of buildings, combining various styles of buildings of different cultures and religions into one. This is the only place in the world where you can marvel at the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the Muslim mosque, the Jewish synagogue and the Buddhist temple harmoniously coexisting all as one building. The temple is decorated with all the iconic elements of world religions, as well as symbols of extinct civilizations. Visitors are invited to visit the rooms of Jesus Christ, Buddha, the Catholic Hall, the Egyptian Hall, the theatre hall, the picture gallery, and the tea room. The unique temple can be clearly seen from ships sailing along the Volga River, as well as from the windows of the nearby passing trains.
On the pedestrian Bauman street, there is a place from which an incredible view of the central part of Kazan can be seen. This is an observation deck on the bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral, the tallest ancient building in the city stands 74 metres tall.
According to the Archpriest Alexei Derzhavin - abbot of the cathedral, the bell tower was made up of 2,000,000 bricks. Inside it, the Church of John the Baptist, the patron saint of heaven patron Ivan Krivonosov, was opened. The cathedral as well as the observation deck was closed down in the 1930s, and was only restored in 2016.
Tartu Cathedral, located on the beautiful Toomemägi Hill, is one of the largest churches in Estonia. It is also the only mediaeval church with two towers in Estonia. The construction of the church started in the 13th century and the church was fully completed in the beginning of the 16th century. The church towers were the last things to be finished. During the Livonian War, the church was destroyed and since then, it has not operated as a church. The ruins of the Tartu Cathedral are one of the most prominent examples of brick-Gothic buildings in Old Livonia.
The University of Tartu Museum, which introduces the history of science and university education, operates there. In addition to the museum, there is also the Toompood store, and visitors can also go to the cathedral’s towers, which offer beautiful views.
The Cathedral of St. Sophia, where the princes of Kyiv were crowned in the years of Kyiv's grandeur, has outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century. Overlooking the old section of Kyiv, Podol, stands the Ukrainian Baroque church of St. Andrew, much beloved by Ukrainians.
The oldest church in Viljandi is the St. John's Church, which was built near the castle in the years 1466-1472. A triangular home church, made of limestones and brick, was first prepared for the Franciscan monastery.
Situated in the heart of Lappeenranta, St. Mary’s Church of Lappee is a double cruciform wooden church that was originally built in 1794. The current church was built by Juhana Salonen, from Savitaipale, although it has undergone restoration work over the years. The altarpiece, representing Christ’s Ascension, was painted by Aleksandra Frosterus-Såltin in 1887, and there are many other paintings in the church by unknown artists.
The Church of the Virgin Mary is the oldest orthodox church in Finland and is situated in Linnoitus, otherwise known as the Fortress of Lappeenranta. There was a wooden church on the site as far back as 1742, the present church was completed in 1785. The most valuable icon here is the 200-year-old Communion of the Holy, found in the middle of the north wall.
The church of Kerimäki is the world’s largest Christian wooden church and has the most spacious interior in Finland. It is 45 meters long, 42 meters wide and 27 meters high. The height of the dome is 37 meters.
In 1874, the Häädemeeste Lutheran Church, which was built around the same time as an orthodox church, received a smaller but architecturally worthy opponent. The church is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and is celebrated on the 29th of September in the year of celebration.
Eliisabet's Church, inaugurated in 1750, is the most outstanding sacral building of the Baroque period in Estonia. The beautiful church in the centre of Pärnu invites you to step in and look around to see a pulpit in the Neo-Gothic style from the middle of the 19th century, the altar and the altarpiece “Resurrection”. One of the best organs in Estonia is in Eliisabet's Church and the place is popular as a concert hall among music lovers.
Interesting to know! The church got its name from Russian Empress Jelizaveta thanks to whom the congregation got a Lutheran church.
Savonlinna Cathedral is the main church of Savonlinna’s Evangelical-Lutheran parish. The name of the church originates from the cathedral, the seat of a bishop, located in Savonlinna from 1897 to 1924.
The church was designed by architect A.H. Dahlström in 1858, and it was consecrated on 2 February 1879. The church was damaged during an air raid in 1940. The reconstruction was designed by architect B. Lilljeqvist. The altar choir ceiling fresco, paintings on the gallery bannisters, and the chandeliers were created by artist Antti Salmenlinna. The altarpiece “Jesus in Gethsemane” is a triptych painted by artist Paavo Leinonen. The church textiles, designed by artist Helena Karvonen, are from 1979.
Exquisite altarpieces, medieval burial slabs and other works of religious art can be seen in this 1230-era church-turned-museum. Saints, dancing skeletons and silver – not to mention the occasional organ concert – are the main attractions here.
The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840): Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. A statue of Alexander II (1894) stands in the middle of the Senate Square. Helsinki Cathedral is arguably Finland's most famous and photographed building. The oldest stone building in Helsinki is the Sederholm House located on the southeast corner of the square. Today the building hosts the Helsinki City Museum. The Esplanade park and the Market Square are just a block away. The Senate Square also hosts a sound installation called the Sound of the Senate Square. It is a modern version of the European glockenspiel and can be heard every day at 17:49 as it travels from one building to the next. The composition runs for 5 minutes 18 seconds and is composed by Harri Viitanen and Jyrki Alakuijala.
Completed in 1969, Temppeliaukio Church is carved right from the bedrock in the center of Helsinki.
The underground house of worship, called Temppeliaukion kirkko in Finnish, was designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in the charmingly named Töölö neighborhood. On all sides of the circular church are roughly hewn stone, where sometimes water still seeps in to create miniature waterfalls. A dome coated with copper covers the rock church, with a skylight open in a belt below it to make the dome appear to hover. Even further below the church is a Cold War-era air raid shelter, which now serves as parking.
Despite its cave-like appearance, Temppeliaukio Church actually has marvelous acoustics, where the sound beautifully bounces from the craggy stone.
The Finnish Orthodox Church in Tapiola, Finland is dedicated to St. Herman of Alaska. Herman was a monk from the Valaam Monastery who, in 1793, left for missionary duty in the Alaskan archipelago. During the 40 years he spent in the Alaska region, he became an important spiritual teacher and defender of the local population.