Russia


Christianity was introduced in Russia during the 10th century and that was not only of ecclesiastical importance but of national as well. The ancient Kievan Rus’ – today’s Russia – by embracing Christianity became part of the long Christian tradition and culture of Byzantium. Christian sites in Russia today – majestic churches and numerous monasteries – are a major attraction for pilgrims from across the world. Moscow, the capital city of Russia, has taken its name from Moskva River which passes through the city.  It is a city of royal palaces and archaic churches, farmhouses, cottages of boyars and mansions of wealthy merchants. Over the years, fortified walls were erected around the city. Inside the walls, apple and cherry trees gardens blossomed every spring. On the outskirts of Moscow monasteries were built with gilded domes and crosses, standing intact up to now.  On feast days, bells would sound and pilgrims celebrating joyfully filled the squares surrounding the churches. St. Petersburg is a unique Russian city, as if carved by the hand of a great artist, became a supreme monumental city – refined and unique, rigorous and luxurious, flamboyant and grandiose, sublime and eternal. St. Petersburg became a city of great patriotism, deep grief and inexhaustible hope. Moscow and St. Petersburg are two Russian cities that bear little resemblance to each other. Russian history has been written in both these cities, from the beginning of the 10th century to the present day. Each city however, reflect Russian history on its’ own way. Hidden in these cities are plethora of life stories full of greatness, heroisms, spiritual crashes, and moments of absolute despair. All these accounts make up the history of the truly enigmatic Russian people.