|Grigori Rasputin, also known by the names|
"Mad Monk" and "Black Monk."
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons***
|Nikolo-Ughreshy Monastery cathedral (view from|
inside the monastery walls) in 1994.The photo
only shows a small portion of the entire compilation
of buildings (photo at right) that remained essentially
unkempt until 1991.**
Not long after the death of Lenin the most famous demolition of a Russian church took place in Moscow. By indirect order of Stalin, on December 5, 1931 Christ the Savior Cathedral was demolished to allegedly be replaced by Stalin's "Palace of the Soviets" - which due to variety of reasons was never built, including the lack of funds and the required build up of troops after Hitler's Nazi's started to grow restless within the confines of Germany. By the time the Red Army was fully committed to WWII, construction had only been completed for the foundation of the Palace of the Soviets. As the largest Christian Orthodox Cathedral ever built, the destruction drew the attention of many people across the country as a symbol of a faith along similar lines as if the Vatican were flatted one day and the Roman Catholics around the world could say nothing out of fear of being locked away in an insane asylum or a prison labor camp and/or execution if a state security agent overheard him or her voicing dissensions. All of the fearful possibilities existed for anyone who got the wrong person's attention by speaking out against anything Stalin approved of. For many years after the war various projects were considered, but since water had a tendency to collect and flood the area, some civil engineer was certainly awarded well for coming up with the notion of making the former foundation of an enormous cathedral into an enormous public swimming pool that was simply called "Moscow." The pool was plagued with "structural problems" and was practically never open in the 34 years it remained before reconstruction of the cathedral began.
|A postcard of the rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior.*|
The shift from enemy of the state to sainthood for Nicholas II is about as far a departure from the Soviet ideology of atheism as imaginable.
|A photo of the cathedral from across the bridge over the Moscow River leading to the former public pool.*|