Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Church on Spilt Blood

Kade and I took a river cruise down some of the canals in central St. Petersburg.  The cruises would then take you out onto the Neva River.  There are many canals, bridges, fountains, monuments to go along with  great architecture.  This city was built by Peter the Great and is very young according to Russian standards.  During World War 2, this city was "under siege" by the Nazis and was literally encircled for 900 plus days.  At least a million or perhaps two million people starved in this city.  As you can imagine, the reconstruction of St. Petersburg went on for years after the war was over.

This is the "church on spilt blood" in St. Petersburg.  It was built on the spot where a czar was assassinated.  During Soviet times and after WWII it fell into disrepair.  However, also during Soviet times, it was protected from destruction and was being completely restored in the late '70s.  Yet, there are numerous examples of the Soviet Union destroying churches or turning them into something more secular.  Russia was very Orthodox Christian during Czarist times, and then came a backlash.  Over there now you find scores and scores of beautiful churches that are used for services and some mainly for showcasing the architectural splendor of their time.  There are also new ones being built.  But it's not just churches.  Muslims are restoring mosques in Central Asia.  And St. Petersburg itself has one of the largest mosques in Russia.

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