You may not know it, but Paris houses a wonderful Russian Orthodox Cathedral near the Parc Monceau in the 8th arrondissement. Of neo-Byzantine Moscow style, it’s the main place of Orthodox cult in Paris.
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral has been built in the 19th century. At that time, the Russian population keeps increasing in Paris and it’s Napoleon III who gives the ultimate green light for its construction. In terms of financing, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral sees the light thanks to donations from Tsar Alexander II as well as many Orthodox Catholics in France.
Blessed on September 11, 1861, the day before the Saint Alexander Nevsky day, hero of Russia, the church is dedicated to him. In 1922, the church becomes a cathedral. And what a beautiful cathedral! Rather discreet, it reveals all its splendor when we come in using the Boulevard de Courcelles. You can’t miss its magnificent central fresco and its golden bubbles.
Three times a week, on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. curious visitors can walk the door of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and discover its heavy indoor decoration typical of Orthodox churches: gildings galore, frescoes, apses richly decorated by Alexey Bogolyubov’s paintings and beautiful iconostases.
Don’t forget to visit the crypt of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral because it’s a parish very different from the church and services are conducted in French and not in Slav.
For the anecdote, it’s in this very church that Pablo Picasso married Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova in 1918 under the witnessing eyes of Jean Cocteau, poet Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire!
12 Rue Daru
75008 Paris 8
Ouvert : mardi, vendredi et dimanche après midi de 15h à 17h.