14 Feb 2016

A Miracle of Liturgical Art: The Church of the Protection of the Mother of God at Yasenevo

A church in Russia which has recently crossed the blogosphere. Consecrated by Patriarch Kirill in December 2015. There are some amazing images of the interior of this church.
But most astonishing by far was the project to decorate the interior of the main church. It is ornamented in the style of the Sicilian Cathedrals of the 12th century – without doubt the most sumptuous and refined style that ever emerged in the Byzantine-influenced world. Virtually the entire inside of the Yasenevo church is mosaic iconography in glittering glass and gold. There have been but a handful of churches decorated like this in all of history, and this church ranks fifth among them in area of mosaics. The lower walls of the church are revetted in white marble and the floor is finished in splendid Cosmatesque marble and mosaic interlace. The church is lit with a great brass choros and a constellation of glittering chandeliers. The marble iconostasis bears jewel-like icons with a powerful Romanesque gravity. It is a vision of medieval splendor the likes of which have never before been seen in Russia, and only rarely in all the world.

.......The true miracle of the Yasenevo church, though, lies not in its richness, but its poverty. Astonishingly, this church, constructed in just seven years, had no major individual donors. There was no great oligarch or wealthy institution footing the bill. Rather, the money came in small donations from ordinary people and pious organizations – 80,000 donors in total.....
Go visit the article and take a virtual tour of this magnificent church.

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