The Cathredal of Christ the Savior, Moscow
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is a cathedral in Moscow, Russia, on the northern bank of the Moskva River, a few blocks south-west of the Kremlin. With an overall height of 105 metres (344 ft), it is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world. The cathedral is not owned by the church, which rents out space on the premises. Under the state atheism espoused by the USSR, many "church institution[s] at the local, diocesan or national level were systematically destroyed" in the 1921-1928 antireligious campaign. As a result, after the Revolution and, more specifically, the death of Vladimir Lenin, the prominent site of the cathedral was chosen by the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin as the site for a monument to socialism known as the Palace of the Soviets. It took more than a year to clear the debris from the site. Some of the marble from the walls and marble benches from the cathedral were used in nearby Moscow Metro stations. The original marble high reliefs were preserved and are now on display at the Donskoy Monastery.
The construction of the Palace of Soviets was interrupted owing to a lack of funds, problems with flooding from the nearby Moskva River, and the outbreak of war. The flooded foundation hole remained on the site until, under Nikita Khrushchev, it was transformed into the world's largest open air swimming pool, named Moskva Pool. In February 1990, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission from the Soviet Government to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. A temporary cornerstone was laid by the end of the year.
A construction fund was initiated in 1992 and funds began to pour in from ordinary citizens in the autumn of 1994. In this year the pool was demolished and the cathedral reconstruction commenced. About one million Muscovites donated money for the project.