The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was originally commissioned by Emperor Alexander I in an Imperial decree on Christmas day, December 25, 1812. In celebration of Russia’s dubious victory against Napoleon and having driven the French leader and his 600,000 troops from Russian soil, the Emperor thanked God and the Russian people for the triumph and ordained the construction of a memorial temple to Christ the Savior.
The enormous gleaming golden dome and gigantic structure of the newly built Cathedral of Christ the Savior is visible from all over central Moscow and is the largest church in Russia. The original Cathedral was built by the architect Konstantin Ton between 1839 and 1881 to commemorate Russia’s victory over Napoleon in the Napoleonic Wars. The church was later demolished in 1933 on Stalin’s orders, but was built anew in the 1990s.