Russian presence in France dates from the XVIII century. In the middle of the XIX century, Paris was considered the capital of the world in the realm of thought, culture and art. In the XIX century, about a thousand Russian temporarily or permanently residing in Paris. They had no other place of prayer except that which was in the Russian Embassy in Paris, too close.
Church in Paris, the Russian mission there since 1820, as houses, in rented premises. In May 1846 a priest it took Joseph V. Vasilyev, soon decided to create a true church, which could become a center of Russian Orthodox life in Paris.
In 1847 he began raising funds for its construction. For many years the main business of his father Joseph was to help the Russian prisoners of war stranded in France after the Crimean War of 1854-1856 years. The Jesuits have accused him of political propaganda among prisoners, the authorities tried to persuade him to move to French citizenship. The French administration has delayed the project. Father Joseph has made a personal audience, Napoleon III, and became his urge the need to build a Russian Orthodox church in Paris. Napoleon III, in the end, gave his consent.
Funding for construction was carried out mainly on donations made by the Russian in Russia and around the world. Tsar Alexander II made a personal contribution - about 150 000 francs in gold. The project was of great interest in France. To donate joined the Orthodox contributions Catholics and Protestants.
The author of the project the church of Alexander Nevsky, founded in the Byzantine-Russian style, was the architect Roman Kuzmin - Professor of the Academy of Fine Arts, who was the chief architect of the Ministry of the Imperial Court. By this time he has finished in the Gatchina Palace for the restructuring and the construction of the Cathedral of St.. Paul.
The plan of the temple of Alexander Nevsky is a Greek cross, each of which ends with a ray of the apse, - they built towers with cupolas. Five domes symbolize Christ with 4 Evangelists. The central dome rises to a height of 48 m.
Construction of the temple led the architect Ivan Strom - Academician, Professor, Academy of Fine Arts. The construction lasted less than two years, c 1858 to 1860.
On the facade lies a mosaic image "Blessed Saviour on the throne" - a copy of a mosaic from the Church of St. Apollinaris in the Italian city of Ravenna.
The Byzantine style is particularly felt in the interior decoration and painting of the church. Over the icons and frescoes have worked many famous artists.
The new church was consecrated September 11, 1861 Archbishop Leonty (Lebedinsky), the future Metropolitan of Moscow. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky, Prince of Novgorod, the glorious hero of Russia.
The temple became a cathedral in 1922, when Archbishop Eulogius (St George), he built there an administrative center of the parishes in his diocese of Russian immigrants.
Since 1983, the building is listed as a historical monument in France.
- Fr. Joseph V. Vasiliev (1820, village Streltsov Orel - 1881, Gatchina)
- St. Alexander Nevsky church in Paris. 1861.
- The architect Roman Kuzmin (1811 - 1867)
- Architect Ivan Strom (1825 - 1887)
Last edited by Снегов; 20-11-2011 at 20:07.