Church in Kostroma, Central-eastern Russia, c. 1790.

Churches of Russia and Eastern Ukraine

This is a small collection of photos of Russian churches, chapels and cathedrals, mostly from the northern part of European Russia. Some of them are well-known and included in tourist interaries, others are seldom visited.

cathedral Cathedral in Chernigov, Ukraine, c. 1190. cathedral Cathedral in Chernigov, c. 1033. gates City gates and church, Kiev, c. 980.
Pine-oak forests near Chernobyl, Ukraine.

Part of Russia's cultural heritage, and its first capital Kiev, are now in Ukraine. It was here, at the edge of forest and grasslands, that the Russian state formed, and began its millenium-long expansion in all directions, but mostly eastward. cathedral
Cathedral, Kiev, c. 1130.
Grasslands near Kursk, Russia.

chapel Reconstruction of chapel in Esso,
Kamchatka, c. 1795.
This conquest, called "collecting of Russian Land" by local nationalists, took the Russians first to so-called "Golden Ring" area, then across the Urals and Siberia, to Alaska and even California. church Church in Fort Ross,
California, c.1824.
city Kremlin (walled city) in Tobolsk, Western Siberia, c.1641-1700. city Church in Rostov, Central Russia, c. 1495.

Site of pre-Christian temple of
god Svyatovit, Putivl, Ukraine.
Tomb of local king,
Kerch, Crymea, c.348 B.C.
Greek-Slavic temple in Crymea,
Ukraine, c. 580-560 BC
Byzantine church in Kerch, Crymea,
The first Russian churches resembled Byzantine prototypes, but soon, an original style was developed, probably influenced by phallic forms of pre-Christian temples, of which virtually nothing is known.
Ancient Slav idol,
the Historic
Museum, Moscow.
Idol of god
from Putivl,
City Museum, Krakow,
Ancient Mansi idol,
the Historic
Museum, Moscow.
Churches in New Jerusalem,
Central Russia, c.1658-1686.

city Suzdal, Central Russia (mostly c. 1510-1600). church Cathedral in Pereslavl-Zalesski,
Central Russia, c. 1157.
city Vladimir, Central Russia (mostly c. 1158-1200).
church Church in Murom,
Central Russia, c. 1643.
Pre-Mongolian architecture (11th-13th centuries) is particularly cherished. Most of it, and lots of more recent masterpieces, are now in the so-called "Golden Ring" of cities, northeast and east from Moscow.
church Church in Uglich, Central Russia,
c. 1220.
church Sergiev Posad, Central Russia,
mostly c. 1460-1700.
cathedral Cathedral in Kostroma,
Central Russia, c.1651.
cathedral Among the Golden Gate cities, my personal favorites are Vladimir, Suzdal, and particularly Rostov.

Views of Rostov Velikii (Rostov the Great), c. 1473-1570.
cathedral Cathedral in Yuriev-Polskii,
Central-Eastern Russia, c. 1234.
view Monastery in Suzdal, c. 1510. church Church in Bogolyubovo,
near Vladimir, c. 1165.

monastery Pechory Monastery, near Pskov, c. 1473-1570. cathedral Cathedral, Novgorod, c. 1013. city Pskov City, Northwestern Russia.
city Novgorod City, Northwestern Russia. Pskov and Novgorod area of Northwestern Russia has some of the country's oldest walled cities and monasteries.
cathedral Cathedral, Novgorod, c. 1113.
church Church in Isborsk, near Pskov, c.1680.

cathedral Cathedral in Moscow, c. 1559. view View of kremlin (walled city), Moscow. cathedral Cathedral in Moscow, c. 1559.
Church in Moscow, c. 1498.
view View of Kremlin, Moscow,
c. 1470-1700.
Moscow, the modern capital, is much younger than Novgorod or Vladimir, but it also has some impressive cathedrals, and cute small churches are scattered throughout the city.
view view
Cathedrals in Kremlin, Moscow, c. 1489 and 1470.
Church in Kremlin, Moscow, c. 1627.
Church in Moscow, c. 1495.
view Cathedral in Kremlin, Moscow,
c. 1505.
Cathedral in Moscow, c. 1559.
Some of these churches date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, others are relatively new. church
Cathedral, Moscow, c. 1883 (rebuilt 1996).
Moscow Kremlin.
Detail of Kremlin, Moscow.
St. Basil's Cathedral (below) is the most beautiful and popular one.

Cathedral, Moscow, 1559.
Churches of Moscow.
Church in Balahna,
Central Russia, c.1620.
Flooded church, Kalazin,
Central Russia, c. 1820.
Forests around Moscow are full of small churches, some well taken care of, others abandoned, and known only to local hunters and mushroom
Church in a swamp,
Central Russia, c.1800?
Mixed forest,
Central Russia.
church Church, Moscow, c. 1682. Churches built in the so-called fiery style, mostly dating back to late 16th and 17th centuries, are particularly beautiful in Moscow and surrounding provinces. In the late 17th century, the second "golden age" of original Russian architecture ended due to the gradual spread of imported Classicism everywhere, except for the North. church Church, Moscow, c. 1680.
church Church, Moscow, c.1598. church Cathedral, S.-Petersburg,
c. 1756.
church Church, Moscow,
c. 1690.
church Church in Bolshie Vyazemy,
Central Russia, c. 1667.

church church Churches and chapels of Valaam Monastery, Valaam Islands, Lake Ladoga, c.1720-1900. chapel

Taiga forest, Valaam.
Old monasteries on Valaam and Konevets islands on Lake Ladoga resemble some Far Eastern, rather than European, sacred sites: their architecture is beautifully merged into almost intact natural surroundings.
Lake Ladoga off Konevets Islands.

Skit (remote chapel), Valaam.
lake Valaam Islands. lake Valaam Monastery. view Valaam Monastery.

church chapel church church
Churches on the western coast of Lake Onega, left to right: Veps church, Russian chapel, Russian church, Karelian church; c. 1650-1850.
Russian church on Lake Onega, c. 1830.
Each one of many small, remote villages around Lake Onega, inhabited by Russians, Karels and tiny Veps tribe, has its own wooden church, and no two of them are alike. church
Karelian church on Lake Onega, c. 1790.
churches churches
Churches on Kizhi Island, Lake Onega.
Kizhi Island.
One of these two churches (the one to the right on the pictures) is probably the World's most beautiful wooden structure. It was built entirely of wood, with no nails used, by local craftsmen in c. 1714. It is completely unlike any other wooden church ever built. churches
View from the church.
Summer midnight, Kizhi Island.

church church church
Churches in Malye Korely, near Arkhangelsk, c.1800-1850.
Summer night in Pechenga Fjord on
Norwegian border - the former site
of the World's northernmost
Orthodox monastery.
Villages of White Sea coast in the northernmost Russia are generally believed to be the last place where the traditions and lifestyle of the old times are still preserved to some degree. Local churches mostly avoided the destruction of revolutionary years, and people still speak a distinct Pomor dialect, little influenced by TV phraseology and city slang. However, few people realize that Russians are relative newcomers in this area with rich Fennic, Scandinavian and Saamian cultural heritage. stone
Sacred stones, called seids by Saami,
were believed to have souls, be able
to fly from place to place, even
kill people who displeased them.
Church in Holmogory village, site of Holmgard,
ancient Viking trade center, c. 1660.
In addition to churches and monasteries, there are ancient Shamanist shrines in this area. They were mostly destroyed by Orthodox Church in other parts of European Russia. Nowadays, shamanism only exists on the Eastern side of the Urals. labyrinth
Stone labyrinths are believed to be ancient
sites of spiritual dancing ceremonies.
Cathedral in Kola, south from Murmansk,
c. 1770-1800.
Stone churches are relatively rare in this country of endless taiga forests, but the few remaining monasteries have impressive stone walls.

Sacred tundra valley on
Russia/Finland border.
Monastery on Solovetskie Islands,
White Sea, c. 1570-1640.
Hibiny Mountains near Monchegorsk.
Solovetsky Monastery, the White Sea.
White Sea coast near Kandalaksha.

World's largest wooden cathedral, Anadyr, Chukotka (NE Siberia), c. 2004.
Interior of Anadyr Cathedral, c. 2004.
Recently, The government again began to push Christianity down peoples' throats by the government, and new churches are built everywhere. church
Anadyr Cathedral (and a radio station billboard).

Chapel in Egvenkinot, Chukotka, c. 2005.
church Chapel in Egvenkinot, Chukotka, c. 2005. Most of these new churches are terrible kitch, but some aren't so bad. church
Chapel in Egvenkinot, Chukotka, c. 2005.
Chapel in Egvenkinot, Chukotka, c. 2005.

Church in Kolomenskoe, Moscow, c. 1532.