The Cathedral of the Savior (or Our Savior's Cathedral) in Moscow may be the largest Orthodox church in the world. The building is magnificent, but not as old as it looks: it was rebuilt in 2000 after the original was demolished in 1931 by Stalin's order. The idea for this church dates from 1812; it was designed to commemorate the victory over Napoleon's army as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russians. Construction began in only 1839, and the cathedral did not emerge from its scaffolding until 1860; elaborate frescos by some of the best Russian painters continued in the interior for another 20 years. The cathedral was consecrated on May 26, 1883. In 1990, with the end of the Soviet rule, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission to rebuild the Cathedral of the Savior. The lower church (Church of the Transfiguration) was consecrated in 1996, and the completed new Cathedral was consecrated on August 19, 2000.
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