Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Church of the Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg

The Church of the Spilled Blood, was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. Construction was begun in 1883.  At the time churches were built in neoclassical and baroque style. This wonder of architecture differed, intentionally following along the lines of the 17th Century Yaroslavi Churches like St. Basil’s in Moscow.
Barrett’s brother in law, Vlad, Orthodox himself, was able to join us.  Barrett and he had much to say about family and friends and old times in Russian. Every now and then Vlad or Barrett would turn to me and indicate something in English.  Either one answered my questions as well. That’s how I learned that if a church had a particular icon of a favoured saint of note,  it was placed to the right of the main shrine. This was not so here because the whole church was dedicated to Alexaander II’s death.
It was a beautiful church.  I was moved by the story of Jesus told in the many icons on the walls.  These were the ‘movies’ for the people, the ‘comic strip’ version of the Bible which the illiterate could appreciate. Even in Soviet times the 'story' of Christ was told in part, by icons on the outside of the church.  The church is a DVD. It’s living Christ.  I was so grateful to be there, to see the celebration and talented skill that went into this labour of love.  DSCN1627DSCN1631DSCN1629DSCN1637DSCN1644DSCN1645DSCN1646DSCN1647DSCN1648DSCN1650DSCN1651DSCN1652DSCN1653DSCN1654DSCN1656DSCN1659DSCN1660DSCN1661DSCN1663DSCN1662DSCN1666DSCN1668

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