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Photographer's Note

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is the tallest Orthodox Church in the world: 105 m (344 ft). It was first built between 1839 and 1883 to commemorate victory over Napoleon’s invasion.

In 1931 the cathedral was ruined by the Stalinist regime. It took two explosions to ruin the cathedral (felt quite a few blocks away from the site) and a year and half to clear up the rubble.

The govt decided to build Palace of the Soviets (Councils’ Palace) that was intended to be as high as 420 m (~1300 ft). The Palace, if it had ever been built, would have been topped with a huge statue of Lenin. But then struck the Great Patriotic War.

The new building was constructed between 1994 and 1997.

During the last week of November (2011) the Cathedral hosted Cincture of the Theotokos (God's mother's belt) which had been touring Russia since 20 October. This is one of the most important relics in Christianity preserved in the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos, Greece. In Moscow pilgrims queued 5 km (3.1 miles) and more along the Moscow River waiting to see the holy relic for about 24 hours.

The relic is believed to enable conception for those who has lost all hope to ever have children of their own.

The embankment and the adjacent side-streets were blocked by the police who didn't let people in the area unless they showed some evidence of living or working there. Not too strictly but the queue was quite well-organized and separated from those who might have squeezed in. Along the queue there were a lot of buses and “on-the-field kitchens” providing the pilgrims with free meals, to say nothing about toilets.

* You might want to see the workshop where I posted the original shot.
* See vantage point of street-view on maps.yandex.ru (drag the arrow of the binoculars to look around or drag the panorama)


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