Sunday, October 14, 2012

Churches, Churches, Churches

As Laura and I have gotten into our regular routine we've mainly been exploring Kharkiv over the weekends.  And so last Saturday was all about churches, churches, and more churches.  The three main sites are Pokrovsky Cathedral, Uspensky Cathedral, and Blagoveschensky Cathedral and all are located in the same central area of city.   

Kharkiv has few historic churches thanks to the Communist purges during Stalin's reign. Pokrovsky Cathedral is the oldest structure in Kharkiv and dates back to 1689.  A functioning monastery surrounds the church and you can tour the grounds.    

Uspensky Cathedral is located a block to the south of the monastery.  This church was converted to a theater during Communist times and remains as one today.  We didn't get a chance to tour the inside of the theater [for another day I guess] but it would have been interesting to see an Orthodox Church with seating as parishioners stand throughout Orthodox services and there are typically no pews.  

Blagoveschensky Cathedral is the newest of the three sites and was built in 1901.  It was the only Orthodox church that was able to operate throughout Communist times.  Because of it's colorful outside design Blagoveschensky Cathedral has been dubbed "the candy cane church."

Here's the view of it while standing at Uspensky Cathedral.  

And a close up view:

Getting your photo taken in front of Blagoveschensky Cathedral is a popular spot for newlyweds and there were a few wedding parties around the day we were there.  .

Sometimes foreigners like to get their photo taken there as well:

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