Monday, May 10, 2010
We will join the Viking Kirov in St Petersburg for a 13 day, 1300km cruise to Moscow called "Waterways of the Czars". After a few days in St Petersburg, we will sail down the Neva to Lake Ladoga, along the Svir River to Mandrogy, the “Blue Route” to Lake Onega visiting Kizhi island, Goritzy, Yaroslavl and Uglich then down the Moscow canal to Moscow.
I am hoping to find evidence of St James the Greater in Russia but, although I've done some research on the Internet, I haven't found much.
I've learned that In 1917 the Bolsheviks closed all churches and prohibited religion. Over the next few decades, more than 90,000 churches were either demolished (many blown up) or allowed to become ruins. Of the approximately 7000 that remained many became workshops, storage uits, museums or even a swimming pool - St Peter's Lutheran Church in St Petersburg.
One of the churches that fell into ruin was an Orthodox Church built in 1268, dedicated to Saint James, son of Zebedee, in the Kaliningrad region of Koingsberg which fell into disrepair and was finally demolished in 1970.
There is a church of St. James the Apostle in Kazyonnaya Sloboda, Moscow - and a Saint James the Apostle Lutheran Church in Novokuznetsk, Siberia. (I won't be visiting there!)
http://kizhi.karelia.ru/architecture/en/iconostasis/ The third tier of the Kizhi iconostasis is a Dieses tier and "Jacob, son of Zavadeev" is located in the centre of the frieze.
I have also researched the Scallop shell as decoration and discovered that The Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, commissioned in 1505 and built by the Venetian architect Alevisio, has notably foreign features such as the scallop-shell decoration of its gables. Are these facies of the Italian architect, or do they represent, in any way, the Santiago shell?
I don't know how how to describe that feeling. Some call it "holiness", others "wholeness", and buddhists call it "Nirvana", but as I said - words don't apply here, and even pictures do not. Seeing this place on a photo is not enough - you absolutely have to visit it, because only then you will literally feel 'The Force' flowing through you."
Can't wait to visit it!