Orthodox Church, Geneva
This brilliant architectural jewel is the Russian Orthodox church of Geneva, officially named Cathédrale de l'Exaltation de la Sainte Croix. It was completed in 1866 after the city donated a piece of land to the Russian community. The Grand Duchess Anna Fyodorovna, sister-in-law of Tsar Alexander I, funded the project, employing the architect David Ivanovitch Grimm from Saint Petersburg for the project who combined Byzantine and Muscovite styles. The nine golden onion domes of the church are a stunning sight, especially on a sunny day. The interior is typical of Russian churches, with beautiful frescoes and icons, but it has been blackened by all the incense burning over the years. The church today serves the Russian community of Geneva along with other Orthodox communities who may not have their own church, such as the Bulgarians.
After visiting the Natural History Museum I headed to Russian Church(Cathédrale de l'Exaltation de la Sainte Croix). It’s a typical beautifully Russian orthodox church in byzantine muscovite style, topped with golden onion domes. It serves most orthodox people in Geneva (including 3000 Russians that live in Geneva) but in the beginning was built to serve the wealthy Russian that came here during 19th century. It was built in 1866 with money from Grand Dutches Anna Fyodorovna (sister-in-law of Tsar Alexander I). The general area where the church is located seemed upscale with beautiful buildings around.
I took some pictures and then I got inside through the stately porch. There’s no entrance fee but they “push” you to donate 2chf. There is a marble iconostasis, many beautiful icons (16th to 20th century) but also lots of treasures that came here as donations from the Russian imperial family.
I took only 2 photos inside before the angry lady came screaming “No photos allowed inside”, the lady in charge had some bad looks for those who didn’t donate anyway but she was really angry now, I said “peace woman, it’s a sacred place, we don’t have to hate each other” :)
The church is open Tuesday to Friday 9.00-12.00, Saturday 9-12.00 and 14-20.00
The church is set on a hilltop in the residential district of Les Tranchees. In the 19th century, Geneva was a popular place of residence and recreation for Russian aristocrats, one of them was Grand Duchess Anna Fedorovna who funded the construction of a Russian Church.
The construction work was completed in 1869 and was built on the plan of a Greek Cross and richly decorated in the Byzantine style.