Cathedral of Christ the Savior

#4 in Best Things To Do in Moscow
Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Bernt Rostad/Flickr

Key Info

Volkhonka Ulitsa

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is located along the bank of the Moscow River and only a few blocks away from the Kremlin. Tourists come to the cathedral for its impressive architecture and design, as well as for its equally impressive (and strange) history.

The cathedral was originally built to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon in 1812 and to honor the soldiers who gave their lives fighting him. Then in 1931, Stalin had the structure dynamited to make room for his Palace of the Soviets project -- an ambitious skyscraper (it would have been the tallest structure in the world) that never materialized. Instead, the site was transformed in 1958 into the Moscow Pool, one of the largest public swimming pools in the world. The pool closed in 1994 and the cathedral was rebuilt in its place in 1997.

The new and improved cathedral features a lavish interior and well-manicured grounds. One TripAdvisor user says, "After the hustle and bustle of the Kremlin, it was great to arrive at the gardens around this cathedral. The grounds are very well maintained and on a sunny and warm day an excellent place to go for a bit of a rest."

You can visit anytime from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. -- it's easily accessible from the Kropotkinskaya metro station. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is an active church, so take care to be respectful of worshipers.

  • A chronicle of Russian military victories is engraved on the marble panels leading to the main hall. Set aside about an hour to see the cathedral." -- Frommer's
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