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Russian Church, Geneva

Photo © Stanislav Stankovic. View all images in our Russian Church Photo Gallery.
Photo © Dragunsk Usf.
Photo © Dragunsk Usf.
Photo © Dragunsk Usf.

The Russian Church in Geneva, Switzerland is a lovely 19th-century Russian Orthodox church topped with golden onion domes and filled with treasures.

History

Russians first started coming to Geneva in the 19th century after writer Nikolai Karamsin visited and described the place in one of his travelogues. In 1859, the tolerant authorities of Geneva authorized the growing Russian Orthodox population to build a church.

The Grand Duchess Anna Fyodorovna, sister-in-law of Tsar Alexander I and aunt of Queen Victoria, was a long-time resident of Geneva. Geneva and funded the construction of a Russian Orthodox church in 1863. Built over the remains of a 16th-century Benedictine priory, it was designed by Grimm, a professor at the St-Petersburg Academy, and completed in 1866.

A stately neighborhood (Les Tranchées) developed around the church in the late 19th century, accommodating the many Russians who came to Geneva to study. Since the fall of Communism, Geneva's existing Russian community has been joined by a wave of new-rich Russians, about 3,000 of whom now call the Swiss city home.

Today the Russian Chuch serves not only the Russian community but also Bulgarians, Serbs, Coptic Christians and other Orthodox worshippers who do not have their own church in Geneva.

What to See

The Russian Church (full name: Cathédrale de l'Exaltation de la Sainte Croix) is designed in a Byzantine Moscovite style topped with colorful, golden onion domes (restored in 1966). It is entered via a stately porch with Byzantine-style striped arches.

The interior features icons from the 16th to 20th centuries as well as treasures donated by the Russian imperial family.

Quick Facts on Russian Church

Site Information
Names:Église Russe; Russian Church; Russian Church, Geneva
City:Geneva
State:Canton Geneva
Country:Switzerland
Categories:Churches
Faiths:Christianity; Russian Orthodox
Dates:1866
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Geneva, Switzerland
Coordinates:46.198896° N, 6.153781° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Russian Church

Below is a location map and aerial view of Russian Church. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Eglise Russe - Geneva Tourisme
  2. Eglise Russe - Wcities
  3. The Rough Guide to Switzerland

More Information

Article Info

Title:Russian Church, Geneva
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:10/07/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/switzerland/geneva-eglise-russe/switzerland/geneva-eglise-russe
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/switzerland/geneva-eglise-russe/switzerland/geneva-eglise-russe">Russian Church, Geneva</a>