When it comes to religions, people tend to disagree, but no one can deny the fact that religious structures that represent specific faith groups (such as Orthodox churches) are architectural masterpieces. Thus, we decided to take a trip around the world and explore the tallest and most imposing of them all. So, without further ado, let’s hop right into it!
7. Annunciation Cathedral:
Let us spoil the list a bit for you (and cross out the previous statement that we made regarding travelling around the world for these churches) – most of the structures that made it to this list are located in Russia (6 out of 7, to be precise). So, the first contestant to intrigue us with its presence is the Voronezh-based Annunciation Cathedral. Boasting with five domes and a massive bell tower, the church was built between the years 1998 and 2009. Soaring at a significant height of 85 metres, the cathedral houses the holy relics of St. Mitrophan of Voronezh (the first bishop of Voronezh).
6. Alexander Nevsky Novoyarmarochny Cathedral:
Next up, we have the pride of Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), soaring at an imposing height of 87 metres. Outrunning the previous contestant by a mere 2 metres, the cathedral is located at the spit of the rivers Volga and Oka. What’s interesting about it is that it was built in honour of a seemingly unreligious event. It was erected to commemorate the visit that Emperor Alexander II took to the Russia to the Nizhny Novgorod Fair. Constructed between the years 1867 and 1880, it is worthy of the sixth position by all standards (size, grandeur and functionality).
5. Smolny Convent:
Also known as the Smolny Convent of the Resurrection, the next contestant is located upon the bank of the River Neva in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Interestingly enough, it is a complex of buildings consisting of a central cathedral and a set of surrounding structures originally intended to make up the convent. Reaching an astonishing height of 93,7 metres, it was built between the years 1751 and 1835. What’s most interesting about it is that its design plan initially included a 140-metre-tall standalone bell tower. It, however, never got to see the light of day.
4. Transfiguration Cathedral:
Overlooking the Amur River in Khabarovsk, the Transfiguration Cathedral is the most instantly-built religious structure on our list (it was completed in only 3 years between 2001 and 2004). What’s quite interesting about its construction is that its location was chosen by Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’ Alexis II of Moscow during a helicopter flight over the city. Soaring at a height of 96 metres, it is the third tallest cathedral of Russia. Oh, and let us not forget about the fact that, like many Russian Orthodox Churches, it adheres to the Ukrainian Baroque architectural style.
3. Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi:
And this is the only proud contestant that does not pertain to Russia. Located in Tbilisi, Georgia, the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi reaches a height of 98 metres. Interestingly, it is one of the largest religious structures in the world in terms of total area. Commonly known as Sameba, the church is the main seat of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Erected on the Elia Hill, it adheres to the Georgian cross-dome architectural style with certain subtle Byzantine influences. Designed by Archil Mindiashvili, the cathedral was built between the years 1995 and 2002.
2. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral:
It didn’t take us long to return to Russia, now, did it (wink)? The Saint-Petersburg-based Saint Isaac’s Cathedral (also known as Isaakievskiy Sobor) was built between the years 1818 and 1858 and designed by the French Neoclassical architect Auguste de Montferrand. Dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, the cathedral reaches a staggering height of 101.5 metres. What’s interesting about it is that it is a blend between the Neoclassical and the Byzantine Greek architectural styles.
1. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour:
Outrunning the previous contestant by a mere 1.5 metres (soaring at 103), the Moscow-based Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is officially the tallest Orthodox Church in the world. Built between the years 1995 and 2000, the cathedral is the reincarnation of a previous one that had been built between 1839 and 1883 and destroyed during the Stalin era. With a massive capacity to accommodate 10,000 worshippers, it adheres to the Russian Revival architectural style. To further emphasise the importance and the grandeur of the structure, it has been dedicated to Jesus the Christ.
Did you enjoy our list?
How many of the aforementioned churches have you visited? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about your travels. Leave nothing out (wink)!