It took most of the nineteenth century to build this great church, but it took Stalin only a few minutes in 1931, in a kind of grotesque Christmas present to the Russian people, to blow up the whole thing.
This was the beginning of Stalins cultural terrorism. He ordered thousands of ancient churches destroyed throughout the country.
When Communism fell, Christ the Saviour was totally reconstructed, to become once again the largest in all Russia. Some have called this just another unnecessary public extravagance. But many more see it as heralding the return of faith or the renewal of Russia for the 850th anniversary of the founding of Moscow.
This latest crash project was completed in record time. It took more years to build the original Church of Christ the Saviour than it took months to re-build it.