Russian Orthodox Church & Cultural Center in Paris

Russian architects, Arch-group, and French studio, Sade Sarl, have won an international competition to design a Russian Orthodox church and cultural centre adjacent to the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris. The cultural and spiritual centre will include a large public garden with a surrounding glass wall of multimedia screens which will be open to the public. A glass canopy will partially cover part of the garden, joining the stone cultural centre and church with nine golden onion domes.

Russian Cultural Centre Paris

The design of the church will be influenced by the Russian Orthodox churches built between the 14th and 16th centuries. The church will have five onion domes, three naves, and lateral sanctuaries. Large slabs of white limestone will be imported from Russia for the building. The interior will boast traditional wall paintings in the style of Andrei Rublev.

It is expected that the project will be financed by the state, church, its contractors and sponsors.

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Russian Orthodox Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski in Paris

Russian Orthodox Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski, Paris, France
Russian Orthodox Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski, Paris, France

The intermingling of Russian and French culture is renowned.  So while in Paris, one must simply make a trip to visit Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski.  Located north of the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe the five-dome church and clearly the unofficial Russian cultural centre of Paris provides a little taste of Russia in this chic city.

This church may not be as visually stunning as the Church on Spilled Blood in St Petersburg but it was witness to Picasso’s marriage to Olga Khoklova in 1918.  The couple then lived just a few streets away on Rue de la Boetie.

Who was Alexander Nevksy?

Alexander Nevsky was a Grand Prince of Vladimir from which the kingdom of Russia was formed.  It is said he successfully defended his kingdom against the Germans, Swedes and Tatars.  Despite not being directly in line for the throne it is believed he was invited by the inhabitants to take the throne as he was respected throughout the region for his military might and political aptitude.

Close-up, Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski, Paris, France
Close-up, Cathedrale Alexandre Nevski, Paris, France

The infamous Soviet film-maker Eisenstein made a film about Nevksy and his military exploits which was used as part of Stalin’s expansionist propaganda campaign; its success furthered Eisenstein’s career, Stalin later permitting him to tackle the first Muscovite Tsar, Ivan the Terrible.  Unfortunately, his fall from favour did not take long.

Cathdrale Alexandre Nevski
Rue Daru
Open Tuesday, Friday, Sunday 3 – 5 pm

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