Visit to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. This imposing cathedral is quite simply the biggest Orthodox church ever built. A symbol of the Russian victory against Napoleon, its construction was finished in 1883, coinciding with the coronation of Alexander III. Its style tends toward the neo-classic side despite its neo-byzantine plans, with the interior decoration made mostly out of Carrara marble, displaying vivid paintings of the battles between Russian and Napoleonic troops. In 1931 Stalin ordered the cathedral blown up in order to build the largest sky-scraper in the world, the Soviet Palace, though the project was quickly abandoned because of flooding from the Moskva River, and so the largest swimming pool in the world was eventually constructed in the hole that was left. After the fall of the Communist regime, the Cathedral was rebuilt according to the original plans. Its inauguration took place in 2000, along with the canonization of the last tsar and its family, killed during the Bolshevik revolution.
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