One of the most striking buildings in Kaliningrad's Victory Square, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and the largest church in the Kaliningrad Oblast region.
This modern, religious building dominates Kaliningrad's old town, with its highest tower standing 73 meters tall. Designed by Oleg Kopylov, the building's architecture reflects a modernist update on the traditional Byzantine style. It is also influenced by the church architecture in the duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal.
The construction of this cathedral started in 1990s, when the city's Russian Orthodox population felt the need to have their own place of worship instead of continuing to use the Lutheran church. Metropolitan Kirill, a senior member of the Russian Orthodox church, undertook the task to build the striking, centrally-located Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Though the construction started in 1995, the official foundation was laid in in 1996 by President Boris Yeltsin, who visited the site to personally deliver a capsule of earth from the cathedral with the same name in Moscow and to lay the official foundation stone of this church. Ten years later, the upper church of the Resurrection was consecrated in September 2006, at the time of the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first Orthodox church in Kaliningrad. The lower church of the Holy Face of Our Saviour was consecrated a year later, in September 2007, by Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Kirill (Gundyaev). The lower church is dedicated to the memory of the Russian soldiers who died in the different wars fought by the country—Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, and World War II in East Prussia and today's Kaliningrad Oblast. The Memel iconostasis, created in St. Petersburg for the Transfiguration Church in Memel (now Klaipeda) in the 1760s, reside in this cathedral now and are a major tourist attraction.
A popular spot
The church is popular with tourists from all over the world, with thousands coming to explore its glorious interior and the redeveloped surrounding area. The cathedral's Suzdal spires and gilded domes are admired by architectural enthusiasts whilst its golden altarpiece and saintly portraits are an enthralling sight. A small wooden chapel that served as the original worship space still stands nearby. In 2010, a small church was built in the complex dedicated to patrons of family life— Peter and Fevronia. This church is a popular wedding venue for couples getting married in the city. The cathedral is a working place of worship and therefore visitors are advised to dress conservatively. The beautiful building can accommodate up to three thousand people. If you get a chance, attend a service here for a complete experience.