The marble iconostasis bears jewel-like icons with a powerful Romanesque gravity. It is a vision of medieval splendor the likes of which have never before been seen in Russia, and only rarely in all the world.
Several things are amazing about this Church in an outer suburb of Moscow:
- It’s beautiful (well, judge for yourself);
- it’s brand new (consecrated last December);
- It’s based on the Norman Cathedrals of Sicily (themselves marvels of eclecticism, with Western, Byzantine and even Moorish influences);
- it was built by volunteer labour (“There was one professional iconographer hired to draw the great Pantocrator, but beyond that, the work was planned by highly-capable art students… in total there were at least 225 of these volunteer mosaicists, some of whom arrived with no skills, but only a life-long dream of making an icon, and ended up creating works of incredible beauty.”)
by Andrew Gould, Orthodox Arts Journal, 9 February 2016.
This past fall I had the opportunity to visit a construction project that is nothing short of a miracle. I saw a group of mostly volunteers and amateurs, working with small donations, building a church to rival any monument in the history of Christendom. The project was recently completed, consecrated by His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill, on December 27th, 2015. I would like to share what I have learned about this astonishing church.