Since medieval times Russian culture and religion in Russia have been diverse.
Moscow is a multinational and multi-religious city with prevailing Russian orthodox religion and Islam religion.
Today Moscow has hundreds of Orthodox churches, Muslim mosques and Jewish synagogues.
You can see all of them on a customized tour bus Moscow. In this article you can find information about the most interesting and beautiful churches of Moscow.
Orthodox Christianity in Russia
Christian community in Russia is the largest one. There are almost 60 millions of Christians all over the Russia, what makes 41% from the whole number of believers. Christianity is the oldest Abrahamic religion in Russian state among the others. Orthodox Christianity totally replaced paganism in 988, when the Holy duke Vladimir the Beautiful Sun made a decision and officially baptized Russia. There is a legend, describing that Vladimir was totally amazed by the beauty and greatness of orthodox solemn services. And it became the main reason why he had chosen exactly Orthodox tradition of Christianity and not any other religion. There are a lot of stunning and worth seeing monasteries and churches in Moscow, but we advise you to visit three absolutely awesome and unimaginable must-sees.
Assumption Cathedral of Moscow Kremlin
The Assumption Cathedral is the main Orthodox church of Russia. In 14th century this cathedral helped Moscow to strengthen its positions among competitors. Since that time each ruler of Moscow and whole Russia then had to go through coronation ceremony held in the Assumption Cathedral.
Don’t miss unique atmosphere or Russian Orthodoxy in the Assumption Cathedral.
Christ the Savior Cathedral
This Orthodox church has very extraordinary history with a touch of mysticism. The Orthodox church was built to commemorate victory over Napoleon in the end of 19th century. Christ the Savior Cathedral is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world. It can place 10 000 parishioners. Enjoy magnificence of that place and don’t forget that women have to cover their hair inside the church
St. Basil’s Cathedral
This Moscow cathedral is a nnique medieval cathedral, built by the order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate annexation of Kazan to Russia. It is decorated in fairy-tale architectural style that makes it breathtaking and absolutely disarming. This cathedral incorporates 9 churches. And its real name is “Cathedral of Intercession of the Holy Mother of God on the moat.”
Islam in Russia
Second most popular religion in Russia. Since 13th century, when cruel Golden Horde (Tatar’s state) invaded Russia and enslaved Russian tsars for long three centuries, Islam started to spread out in Russia. Today there are 10 million Muslims in Russia or 6,5% of total population. There are several mosques in Moscow. Here are the most gorgeous and historical:.
Historical Mosque on Tatarskaya street
Tatars made their bloody raids to Moscow from south. Later some Tatars settled in that areas. That’s why we have several streets there called in memory of that events: Ordynka (derives from Golden Horde) and Tatarskaya, the street were Tatars habited. That’s why the oldest mosque in Moscow, that was found in 1823, is located in historical centre of Tatar community – in ancient district of Zamoskvorechye.
Was erected in 1995 as a part of memorial complex of the Victory park. This mosque commemorates all Muslim warriors who died in the World War II, defending our Homeland.
The main mosque of Moscow and the largest one in Europe. Its area is 19 000 sq. meters and it can place 10 000 parishioners. It is built in Byzantine style and resembles a fairytale castle of eastern prince. First building of that mosque has stood here since 1904. And in 2005 it was decided to erect a new building that will be worthy modern Moscow.
Gala opening ceremony of mosque was held on 23rd of September, 2015.
Protestantism in Russia
Traditionally Protestantism in Russia was represented by Germans since 16th century. That’s why often Protestant temples were called a “Kirche” in German manner. After Northern war territories of several Baltic states annexed to Russia, so number of Lutherans increased. Today there are about 2,5 million of Protestants in Russia which equals to 2% of Russian population. And the first foreign Embassy in Moscow was English one.
Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
By the end of 19th century there were 17 000 Protestants in Moscow. So it was decided to build a bigger accommodation for parishioners. And today’s Lutheran cathedral was consecrated in 1905. Previous church burnt in the great fire of 1812. And originally Lutheran community built its first temple on Moscow ground in 1626. Today’s church was built in neogothic style and has one of the best organs in Russia.
Anglican church of St. Andrew
Peace of Victorian England in the Centre of Moscow. It is the only church in Moscow owned by the Anglican community. All services are held only in English. Church was consecrated in 1885 and dedicated to St. Andrew – a patron of Scotland, because Scottish were the most respected members of English community. In Soviet times the church was non-functioning. And in different years there was a Finnish embassy, a storage, a hostel and even a recording studio.
Catholicism in Russia
There are just 140 000 Catholics in Russia, or 0,1% of all population. During Soviet period catholic community in Russia was totally destroyed. Just in 90-s Catholic church was given an opportunity of functioning in Russia again.
Cathedral of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Is the biggest catholic cathedral in Russia, built in neogothic style in the beginning of 20th century and can accommodate 5000 people. On that time there were 30 000 of Catholics in Moscow. During soviet period it was closed and a hostel took place there. In 1990, for the first time in 60 years, mess was held there. One of the biggest organs are built inside the cathedral. So you can attend marvelous organ concerts.
Judaism in Russia
Jews started to settle in Moscow in 17th century. During thirty years of 19th century, the number of Jews increased from 313 people to 40 000. And all of them lived in the small territory of Zaryadye. This area was occupied by Jewish community and they spread their rules of living, trading, praying and etc. There were several synagogues as well. But today there are about 140 000 Jews and we want to show you best synagogues in Moscow.
The oldest one in Moscow, it was opened in 1906. It has 4 prayer halls. Inside the synagogue you will find interior full of historical allusions and quotes. Synagogue was functional during soviet atheistic period while the majority of religious temples were closed or destroyed. Next to synagogue you will find a small monument representing “The wailing wall”.
Similar to Memorial mosque this synagogue is a part of historical-architectural complex of the Victory park opened on 9th of May, 1995 – on 50th anniversary of the Victory over Hitler. It is called “A temple of memory of Jews – victims of Holocaust”. This synagogue is erected in memory of more than 6 millions of Jews killed in WW II.
If you have at least 2 days in St Petersburg, we’d recommend visiting St Isaac’s Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, the Great Mosque and Grand Choral Synagogue.
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