Saint Alexandre Nevsky

There are some 15 orthodox churches in Paris, Greek, Rumanian, Serbian, French... and of course Russian. In a previous post, we already visited one, Saint Serge de Radonège (see previous post). The most important and spectacular one is probably Saint Alexandre Nevsky, which actually is a cathedral, siege of the Russian orthodox churches for Western Europe, under the jurisdiction of Constantinople / Istanbul.

The church is thus dedicated to Saint Alexandre Nevsky, duke of Novgorod (1219-63), canonized for having saved the Russians from the Swedes (!) at the Battle of the Neva in 1240. (It is however doubtful that this battle ever took place and if so, probably not against any Swedes; it’s only registered in Russian sources. Anyhow, Sergeï Eisenstein made a film about it in 1938, music by Prokofief.)

The church dates from 1861, built with funds from the Tsar and members of the Russian community. The architects were Russian and it is built in a mixed Greek, Byzantine, Russian... style. (Interesting is that several architects involved in the Moscow Kremlin churches were Venetian – compare with Saint Mark.) After the Russian October Revolution in 1917, Paris was a meeting place for a large Russian aristocratic community.

In 1918, Picasso married the Russian dancer Olga Khoklova here with Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire as witnesses. It was also the place for the funerals of Turgeniev, Kadinsky...

Across the street you can find some Russian food, a restaurant (Stravinsky, Diaghilev and Nabokov were guests), a grocery shop...

I wish you a nice weekend!


Ash said...

Gorgeous architecture and ornate interiors!

Have a nice weekend, Peter!!

liz said...

I just stumbled upon your blog googling for something else and will for sure bookmark yours for regular viewing. I love this idea and have regretted not using my camera more to journal the way I have seen things through my own eyes the different places I have lived and visited.

Great idea- keep it going!

Blind Fly Theater said...

Wonderful site! As a mere vicarious Parisian (Parisien?) who lives in New York, I am very grateful. Spectaculaire et beau... Merci beaucoup!

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Hi Peter,

nice looking churches although I am not good in all religions but very interested in the buildings and meaning ...

Wishing you a great spring weekend!

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

These images are beautiful cher Peter...I have been to the Russian church in the 15eme arrondissment.

I know that you mentioned it in June on your blog about Square Cardinal Wyszynski.
Much to my shame, I have never been to the square and hope to on my next visit.

He was my great-uncle and I was wondering when you are in that area if you could get a few images of Square Cardinal Wyszynski.
Merci mille fois in advance, dear friend.

I will be answering your kind mail very soon...bisous

Anonymous said...

The interiors are awesome and cheerful.
And that piano etc was quite tempting too.

Hope you had a lovely time.

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures you post in your blogs. =) And your post are very enjoyable and informative. Always enjoy stopping by and having a looksee.

Lara said...

wonderful place! thanks for capturing it so well and for sharing! have a great weekend too!

Olivier said...

j'adore les églises orthodoxes, et celle là est magnifique. En plus, tu as eut le droit de prendre des photos a l'intérieure, ce qui n'est pas toujours facile avec les églises orthodoxe (celle a cote d'evry, c'est interdit ;o(( ). J'adore

hpy said...

J'ai habité en face d'une église orthodoxe dans une vie antérieure, et c'est intéressant de voir comment les rites diffèrent des nôtres - tourner sept fois autour de l'église pour Noël par exemple - et en plus quelques jours après notre Noël à nous. Ou est-ce le nouvel an? Je ne me rappelle plus très bien, la vieillesse sans doute.

SusuPetal said...

And all is gold that glitters, just beautiful.

Have a nice weekend, Peter.

lyliane six said...

Quand je suis revenue de Russie, c'est là que j'ai fait bénir une petite icône achetée là bas, et c'est là aussi que je me gare souvent quand je viens à Paris en voiture, ce n'est pas payant le samedi...Bon weekend, bonnes balades.

Alain said...

Je vais dire une bétise, mais la décoration de la coupole ressemble beaucoup à une étiquette de camembert.
Montrer la grille au premier plan est une bonne idée, surtout qu'elle est vraiment jolie.

Adam said...

Ah, so you finally got inside the church - congratulations! It's not easy as it's rarely open to visitors, but it looks like it's well worth a visit.

I didn't know about Picasso's wedding - oh to have been a guest there on that day - and at the party afterwards!

Anonymous said...

Ahaa - you don`t believe that battle, but I think, there were some Finns with Swedes anyway shouting "Hakkaa paalle" ;)

Orthodox churches are so decorative.

Have a photogenic weekend, Peter!

Cergie said...

Ah bon ? Alexandre Nevski (Александр Невский) est un saint ? Tu m'en apprends de belles. Comme Saint Louis alors. Pour moi il est associé à la lutte contre les envahisseurs allemands et a été chanté dans son merveilleux film éponyme par Eisenstein sur une musique non moins merveilleuse de Prokofiev...
(Je sais cela surtout car Etienne a joué cette oeuvre de P. avec l'orchestre symphonique du conservatoire de Cergy au Val de Grâce. J'ai pas loupé le film, tu penses bien)

Cergie said...

Il était temps qu'Apollinaire témoigne avant de couic.
Dis moi, sais tu qu'elle est l'origine de sa famille ? De son vrai nom : Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary de Wąż-Kostrowicki.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Good pictures Peter! Also, thanks very much for the information there!

Cezar and Léia said...

Bonjour Peter!
Great Post! I could recognize in your post the same characteristic I mean about paintings all over the walls of the church .This is pretty much what most of all other Russian churches look like inside. By the way have you ever visited our “Secret Garden” blog? There are several pictures from our trip to Russia. A place to remember is “ St.Petersburg - Church of the Resurrection “.
Ahhh another thing, I bet you have never visited our blog about little Luna ( our kitty very charming! )!!!!!!!!!Just kidding, forget it! :-)
Many thanks for sharing so wonderful pictures and wisdom!

Kind Regards,

Catherine said...

Coiffée au poteau.
Je m'y suis rendue avec Eddy, il y a 2 semaines. Je l'avais visitée il y a longtemps mais, cette dernière fois, une cérémonie se préparait, nous n'avons pas pu rentrer. Je suis bien contente que tu nous en ouvre les portes.
La première photo est prise sous un bien bel angle auquel je n'avais pas pensé. Bien vu.
Eddy m'a appris à cette occasion une truc insolite concernant cette Cathédrale. Je lui laisse te le révéler dans son commentaire lorsqu'il viendra te visiter.
Est-ce que la bavarde va tenir jusque là ? Ooouuuui.
Bon Week-end Peter.
Et, oui je me repose ce week-end, mais je ferais peut-être quelques photos, et si l'envie m'en prend...un petit post. Je suis toujours dans l'improvisation, moi. Jamais rien n'est plannifié. Bien? Mal? C'est ainsi que je suis.

Ruth said...

Elaborate! And nice to see where Picasso married Olga.

Thank you, Peter. Enjoy the weekend yourself. We are still very cold, but the sun is shining.

Unknown said...

Amazing 'golden post'! The 1st shot is just gorgeous!

Thérèse said...

Un petit passé pas très agréable pour tes ancêtres...
Cette église othodoxe est bien belle et les cérémonies si prenantes.
Bon week-end!

Karen said...

Wonderful post, as usual. Enjoy your weekend and give Yaelle a hug for me.

Anonymous said...

Have a nice weekend, Peter. I like this post and the gold-leaf on the wrought iron fence. Nice touch.

Michelle said...

I love the beauty of the churches. I would love to try the food at that russian restaurant. I bet it is wonderful. Have a great weekend.

Maxime said...

On estime qu'il y avait à Paris après 1917 entre 50.000 et 100.000 émigrés russes, soit l'équivalent d'une grande ville de province de l'époque. évidemment, c'était moins visible qu'avec des africains, mais le chauffeur de taxi russe était devenu une image très répandue.
Bon weeek-end, Peter.

alice said...

Chic, un weekend caviar avec Peter! On croquera de gros cornichons en buvant de la vodka avant de jeter notre verre par-dessus notre épaule, sans oublier d'admirer les icônes!

Anonymous said...

Hi friend.. Interesting post.. Nice blog work.. keep it up..
will drop by your site often.. Do find time to visit my blog and post your comments..
Have a great day.. Cheers!!!

Eddy said...

Lieu de culte Orthodoxe Parisien de la fin XVIIIth century, c'est au milieu des années 1920 quand, plusieurs immigrés russes s'instalèrent en France et devinrent pour la plupart, chauffeurs de Taxis, que cette église, lieu de réunion de la même communauté, est devenue Cathedrale.
Beaucoup de chauffeurs de taxis etaient, avant la révolution de 1917, des Princes ou autres nobles...

Eddy said...

Merci Peter de faire de la publicité de mon "petit" blog.
je vais essayer de le faire évoluer avec un peu plus de photos (merci le numérique), et, auusi,d'agrandir ma collection de postcards...
Car toute les cartes présentées sur ce blog ou le blog:"five of us " sont issus de ma collection.
A bientôt Peter, peut-être, around the corner...

Claudia said...

I was here in 2006. Well worth the visit. Have a good weekend, Peter.

Virginia said...

Oh Peter, I have so many wonderful Greek friends here in Birmingham. I have photographed their gorgeous chuch and would love to find a Greek Orthodox church in Paris to share with them. Maybe you can help me?

PeterParis said...

Same to you!

I'm happy you found "me"! Welcome back!

Thanks! Hope to see you back often!

PeterParis said...

I admit I mostly also visit churches only for their beauty... and for concerts!

You must be proud of your great uncle! I promise to go back for a post on the park, but maybe I should wait for some green leaves and flowers. Bisous!

Nice weekend!

PeterParis said...

Thanks and welcome back for more looksees!

Thanks! I wish you the same!

Pour les droits, je n'ai pas demandé! :-)

PeterParis said...

Même jeune on oublie! :-)

A lot of gold! Nice weekend as well!

Tu viens les samedis? ... sans me le dire? :-)

PeterParis said...

Ce n'est pas interdit de dire des bétises... de temps en temps! :-)

Open for two hours, three days per week!

Some Finns there, I would not be surprised! Nice weekend as well!

PeterParis said...

Je n'ai pas vu le film mais j'ai entendu la musique de Prokofief!

Cergie bis:
No, je ne savais pas! Un autre immigrant! :-))


PeterParis said...

Yes, I have visited you other blog also - with pleasure!

C'est comme ça qu'on t'aime... bavarde et tout! :-)) J'attends des nouvelles de Eddy donc!

We have some sun and +12°C (I talk only C)! :-)

PeterParis said...

Thanks! So I chose the right one as a top photo! :-)

S'ils étaient là? Bon week'end à tois aussi!

You know everything! I will! :-)

PeterParis said...

Same to you and Pat!

Good idea! I should try it as well!

On trouve moins de chauffeurs de taxis russes ici auojourd'hui!

PeterParis said...

Je viens te chercher à la Gare Montparnasse! Avec plaisir!

I will, dear friend! :-)

En effet! C'était la classe d'avoir un prince comme chauffeur! :-)

PeterParis said...

Eddy bis:
Ton blog mérite bien de la pub! J'espère aussi un "round the corner" un de ces jours! ... peut-être aussi avec la bloggeuse? :-)

To see it in nature is always the best! Nice weekend to you as well! :-)

I would like to, but your list is starting to get really long! :-)

Shionge said...

You have a wonderful weekend too Peter...thanks for the tour once again.

Love your photos!

Chuckeroon said...

Peter (i'm sure you'll fail to notice this exceptional commenting event after 45 other entries)....howeevr, yes I saw the film. I found it quite amusing for a number of reasons. Now you tell me it was all untrue! What a shame!

GMG said...

Hi Peter,
So you're telling us that the fabulous Eisenstein's movie, from which John Ford learned a lot, was a fake. And Prokofief composed one of the best, if not the best, movie music of all times for a fake. And Nicholas Cherkassov was playing a fake role... And what about the caviar eaten? Fake?... That's too much for a Saturday evening; I'm going to watch Real Madrid... ;))

Now truly, the church is awesome! And your pictures excellent, as always!!
The Louvre des Antiquaires, The Louvre itself, we have everything this week! What a week!!
Have a great and restful weekend!

PeterParis said...

Thanks, the same to you!

At least it seems not 100% confirmed! :-) Sorry!

As I said above, it seems doubtful that the story is 100% true, but...
As I also said above, I haven't seen the film (but heard Prokofief's music), but after this I guess I must try to find a copy somewhere!
Obviously Real Madrid won 5-2 (compensation for the 0-4 the other day)! :-)

Anonymous said...

Paris is always good for surprises - as it seems: a Russian looking church in in the middle of this city.

PeterParis said...

... ane that's not the only surprise! :-)

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