Old Church, New Century


Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. General View of the [Nikolaevskii] Cathedral from Southwest, 1911. Digital color rendering. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsc-04438 (53)

In the small town of Mozhaisk, west of Moscow, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas towers over the landscape atop a hill. The ornately decorated church shows the devotion to Christianity the Russians had. The devotion to St. Nicholas goes back to the Middle Ages. As the Mongols approached the town, the residents flocked to the cathedral and an apparition of St. Nicholas turned the invaders away. (http://rbth.com/arts/2015/09/04/mozhaisk_city_under_seige_but_protected_by_st_nicholas_49009.html).

Russia at the turn of the twentieth century was an empire deeply embedded with the Christian religion. However, the influx of European culture brought with it the skepticism and atheism of the “Enlightenment”. This cathedral was a powerful testament of the old faith, but didn’t stand a chance against the strong wind of atheism.

-Alex Hamilton


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