The splendour of the Russian churches, Moscow

I visited St. Petersburg after the summer season, a few years ago. I enjoyed the beautiful colours of its buildings with the golden domes against the lush green background of nature – although I had always dreamt of visiting Russia in winter with snow, my perception of real Russia with snow turning the landscape into a fairy tale, working magic on the churches all around.

In Moscow, where in fact I went this winter, what I enjoyed most were the many churches scattered around the city – actually, the main attraction here, as opposed to St. Petersburg, where it is the imperial palaces that catch one’ s attention. My eyes, accustomed to the Christian Orthodox churches, were not impressed, obviously because the mystical atmosphere these shrines of faith release, has been familiar to me since childhood.

But in Moscow what amazed me, were the golden domes shinning under the blue sky, the vivid colors of red, blue, green, mixed with the intense white of  stucco of the exterior walls and the white of the snow that created a surreal spectacle.

Now, this is what I call stepping into a fairy tale! My gaze in front of the Moscovite churches goes even further to the East, as it meets and clashes with the steppe and the Golden Horde of Mongols. This gives a vivid and a strong stimulus to my imagination.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral in winter, Moscow, Russia

Saint Basil’s Cathedral in winter, Moscow, Russia

Tsarskoye Selo – Catherine Palace – in summer, St. Petersburg, Russia

Tsarskoye Selo – Catherine Palace – in summer, St. Petersburg, Russia

Barbara Athanassiadis