Thursday, 23 July 2015

A Russian feast for the eyes

When we travelled around the Baltics during our stint there one of my favourite occupations was visiting the Russian Orthodox Church in any town we visited. They were always so colourful inside and out.  On a sunny day the golden-domed churches were especially dazzling!

So, as you can imagine, I was really looking forward to having the opportunity to see some particularly stunning examples on our recent trip to Russia. I wasn't disappointed!

Here are some of the highlights :

This rather sombre, black-domed church is in a town called Uglich, which was our first port of call after leaving Moscow.

This much more flamboyant blue-domed church, the splendidly named Church of Dimitry of the Spilled Blood, is, however, the main reason for visiting Uglich. The Dimitry in question was the son of Czar Ivan the Terrible, who didn't have the best of luck with his offspring. He killed his eldest son and heir himself during an argument by hitting him over the head with a staff, Dimitry's throat was cut when he was ten and another child fell in the river and drowned whilst very young. Mind you Ivan had six wives so he was doing his best to keep the line going despite the misfortune befalling several of his children :) It didn't work though, as his eventual heir wasn't up to the task and was the last of the line!

The Churches in Uglich both had the most common onion-style dome but this church overlooking Moscow has the older, less common helmet shaped dome.

These fabulous, golden domes are on one of the three Churches situated within  the grounds of the Kremlin in Moscow. Each church was apparently either for hatching, matching or dispatching the Czars!

These silver domes are actually wooden and apparently can also look green or gold depending upon the way that the light is hitting them. They are the top of a beautiful wooden church that is currently being restored on the island of Kizhi.

You can see where the Church is being restored better here. The island is now an open-air ethnographic museum and other wooden structures have now been brought there for preservation.

Of course I couldn't finish this post without including a mention for the most outrageously over the top Churches of them all :)

The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood in St Petersburg, a riot of blue, yellow and green tiles

and St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

Aren't they just the most riotous collection of colours you will ever see, and a feast of quilting inspiration to boot :)

Linking up to

Live A Colorful Life


  1. Incredible! Thank you for sharing all those pictures!

  2. I marvel at the architecture of the past, don't you? There is no way such marvels could be built in this day and age--way too expensive. Such craftsmanship. Way back in 2008 when construction hit the skids here in the United States, Mark and I had put a deposit on a Baltic cruise. We have always wanted to visit St. Petersburg, and the cruise ship had an overnight stay there. We were so disappointed when we had to cancel due to finances. So again, I live vicariously through your beautiful photos.

  3. Beautiful photos, Fiona ... one day I'd love to go to Russia.

  4. What a fun trip and fun sights to see!! It's always so wonderful to visit other cultures!!

  5. as you say so colourful, seems strange to see the "onions" on the top as I associate them with the mosques.They make most of our Churches look pretty plain and boring!

  6. Fantastic photos Fiona, I think a trip to Russia is a long way off for us but it is definately on 'The List'!

  7. Thanks for the photos.... It is just as I imagine Russia to be. I Might need to do a short search on the Russian Orthodox church. Curious now if all the domes have a significance. Janita

  8. I loved looking at Russian Orthodox churches whilst in Eastern Europe and in Russia. Not many exist in Siberia... I'm not sure if they were pulled down in Stalinist times or if they just never existed. The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood was my favourite. St Basil's might have been had it not had scaffolding around it when I visited! Red Square was shut too as the Czeczens had set off a bomb and so they were on security alert, so we couldn't really get close to St Basils. We were allowed to walk to see Lenin, but we were not permitted to stop to take photos!

  9. I love seeing all your travel photographs! The wooden church is my favourite, I think.


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