What to visit

Cathedral of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky

Description History

This grandiose Cathedral devoted to the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky is the third biggest Orthodox projects in Russia after the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow and St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg. If you look at it from afar, it does not look so big for its shapeliness and proportions, but in fact its height is 87 m (approximately like a 30-storey modern high-rise building). In honor of the 400th anniversary of the Nizhny Novgorod militia in 2012 they erected a special belfry with a huge 4-meter so called "Cathedral Bell" near the Southern gate.

The Cathedral of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky (by architect Lev Dahl) was built in 1858 on the money contributed by the merchants` community, in honor of the tsar Alexander II visit to Nizhny Novgorod. This giant building was a highly challenging engineering project on the swampy riverside ground, and the architect suggested a rather bold solution: the building does not rest on an ordinary pile foundation, but as they say on a raft-like basement of water-seasoned oak.

After the revolution, following the decision of the Volga Fleet management, the cathedral iconostasis as high as 8-storey building along with all the wooden decorations directed for firewood. Only a few particularly revered icons were saved by the parishioners. Soon the authorities issued a decree on the church demolition as there was a project of a lighthouse construction with a new monument to Lenin for this particular site. Fortunately, the project was later on put on hold and only the church tents were dismantled. In the course of the 1940's fire destroyed the remains of the cathedral interior and the painting on the ceiling and walls. The interior that we see today- is the outcome of painstaking restoration works carried out in the 1980s.

What to visit
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