Sunday, May 20, 2012

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

DSC03431 DSC03471-001  
When first hearing of this church in St. Petersburg, I erroneously thought it referred to Christ's blood. In reality it refers to the blood of Tzar Alexander II, the great liberator of Russia, who was killed by revolutionaries 20 years to the day after he freed the serfs. His plans for a constitutional monarchy were abandoned and Russia became more repressive under his son Alexander III and grandson Nicholas II, who were aiming to keep their own blood from spilling. We know how that turned out.
During our stay, we must have passed this church 10 - 15 times and each and every time I felt compelled to take more photographs of it, to take photos of every conceivable angle. So here is a visual essay of the exterior with its magnificent domes and mosaics:
DSC03274 DSC03279 DSC03420 DSC03276 DSC03423 DSC03426 DSC03523 DSC03278 DSC03956DSC03425 DSC03487 DSC03432 DSC03485 DSC03520 DSC03479DSC03437 DSC03474 DSC03489
DSC04810DSC03957 DSC03958DSC03955   
With an exterior this colorful and decorative, one has to wonder about the interior. It was well worth the investment of purchasing a ticket to find out. As I walked through the door, the first section was dark and the mosaics were eerily reminiscent of those in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia built in Ravenna Italy in the 5th century. The top photo is of a star pattern from the Ravenna mosaics.
DSC03303 DSC03320 DSC03302DSC03321
As you turn toward the central interior, the theme changes dramatically and becomes a modern interpretation of biblical stories done in bright, rich colors dominated by gold and a Maxfield Parrish range of blues and greens.
DSC03298 DSC03330DSC03310 DSC03411DSC03328 DSC03293 DSC03287DSC03317 DSC03307 DSC03286DSC03308 DSC03295 DSC03327 DSC03332DSC03339 DSC03393 DSC03401DSC03346 DSC03395 DSC03396 DSC03397     
As unlikely as it may seem, I'm actually only showing a portion of the photos taken in this church. Every nook and cranny was filled with mosaics and I don't believe that any surface was painted. Another fascinating aspect of the architecture was that you could look through levels of the ceiling to see mosaics on the undersurfaces of each dome.
DSC03378DSC03405 DSC03416 
Here are a few more photos to show some of the other architectural details.
DSC03294 DSC03304 DSC03329 DSC03379 DSC03380 DSC03326 DSC03394 DSC03370 DSC03362

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Utterly beautiful.