Chesme Church In St. Petersburg, Russia

by Roni

When you see something that looks completely different than anything you have ever seen, what goes through your mind? When I saw this church in my guide book I knew I had to see it in person because it just seemed unreal. It looks like something out of a fantasy world, or what the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel would look like.

Or maybe what a really cool wedding cake would look like, but to me it looks nothing like a church. This Gothic church, officially named Church of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, was named after the victory of the Russian navy over Turkey in Chisme Bay. This victory happened on John the Baptist’s birthday, hence, how it got its name.

 

This church was made into a forced labor camp by the Russian government for several years and behind the church is a burial ground for war heroes. Since I don’t speak Russian I couldn’t tell what the headstones said but I quickly figured out these were veterans that had given their life for their country. It was an amazing contrast, the church (which is still used regularly) with all of its Gothic glory sitting front and center then behind it the final resting place for so many young men who never had a chance to see this beautifully different structure.

It was an amazing contrast, the church (which is still used regularly) with all of its Gothic glory sitting front and center then behind it the final resting place for so many young men who never had a chance to see this beautifully different structure.

This headstone had pictures on it. 

Do you visit churches when you travel? Where have you seen some of the most beautiful? 

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