Originally appeared at: Russia Insight
The stunning main temple-monument of the Armed Forces of Russia is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
The whole church complex looks grand, especially from a bird's eye view.
It's no joke, its height with a cross is 95 meters. And the gilded dome - the image of the helmet of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky - is visible for many kilometers.
But the main splendor is inside. Icon lamps with their dim lights, mosaic, gold leaf. The temple was built in the architectural traditions of Russian votive cathedrals, which for centuries have been erected on our land in honor of the victories of Russian weapons and in memory of the fallen.
It's an incredible massive beauty - it consists of six parts and two temples.The lower one is dedicated to Vladimir the Great and is already fully painted. Its arches are decorated with mosaic panels of pieces of glass smalt.
Ceramics are covered with gzhel (Russian style of blue and white ceramics). They went through at least five firings. Then the gilding and mother of pearl were applied to the gzhel so it became stronger.You can see mosaic work. There are many Russian style gzhel and God's saints. That is not on canvas, it is not a paint, it is Russian painting, Gzhel painting in the temple is not accidental. The color of the sky, eternity, the height of the Creator. The entire temple was created on the basis of old Russian ornament, and the main task of the artist is to accurately show, paint and express this beauty of old Russian ornament.
The floors in the temple are marble with onyx and cast brass inserts. The sacred place is a baptismal hall with a font made of porcelain and white clay. It is made according to early Christian traditions. But in general, the temple, erected from metal and glass, with banners and orders, figures of evangelists and holy warriors on the facade does not fit into any one style. It has many influences in the unity of the general church canon. We started from Russian traditions, from the Vladimir, Moscow schools. But at the same time, we reworked it so that it became a unique object.
This is an Orthodox church. But you have never seen such a church. It took only three months to make the entire mosaic of the temple, giving it such indescribable beauty - a record for the volume of work covering an area of 2644 square meters. This piece of mosaic weighs around 600kg plus clay. It is a very heavy piece. In order to glue it, we do this kind of self-taping screw. They are holding a mosaic that is still not glued.
In the upper temple, which will accommodate more than five thousand believers, work is still underway. But the grandeur of the plan also emerges through the scaffolding. We finished a unique mosaic - Mother of God. If we pay attention, here we have vitrage together. These vitrages are a pieces of glass of various colors. Medals of the Russian army throughout the whole history are painted on it. Visually weightless stained glass domes fill the temple with natural light.
We are in a unique place. And - most importantly - in a unique time. After all, in a few days, the flooring will be removed and it will be already impossible to see the world's largest mosaic - Face of the Savior. The main temple-monument of the Armed Forces of Russia is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. And in each square centimeter, the "winning code" is encrypted.The height of the belfry is 75 meters - the same as the anniversary of the Victory.The diameter of the central drum is 19,45 meters - it's the year the war ended. Here in the gallery along the perimeter of the temple - also its own semantic series. "The road of memory." 1418 steps - according to the number of days of World War II.The path through our shared past to memory.
A multimedia project designed to perpetuate the names of participants in the Great Patriotic War is truly ambitious. Everyone can share photos and letters from family archives.To do this, the Ministry of Defense has opened a special Internet section.And the materials collected with his help have already begun to be placed in the gallery.And the project itself has become international - information about the participants in the Great Patriotic War comes from all over the world.“There will be about 33 million photographs, lives, and biographies in this“ river of memory ".And everyone who comes here can find a relative after so many years with the help of a touch screen. Created two years ago, in March 2018, the temple absorbed all the best that is in architecture and the art of building church cathedrals.The first liturgy will be held under its arches on the day of consecration in May of this year.
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