Saturday, April 23, 2011

A world turned on its head

The Church of St. Alexander Nevsky in the Old City yielded two photos for James' Weekend Reflections.
Floor tiles are reflected by the special glass protecting the sides of this ancient stone structure.
If you look into the glass on top of it, you see this:

Two tiers, up to the ceiling, of paintings, winding all around the sanctuary and then some!
Some are life-sized depictions of Russian Orthodox saints.
The others are illustrations starting at the Mount of Olives, followed by the Stations of the Cross, and ending with the Resurrection. The famous 19th century artist N. Koshelev painted them.
I have the feeling that the upside down cross reflects the suddenly topsy turvy inner world of the disciples on this Holy Saturday long ago. Yesterday they had lost their Master, today he was in the grave, and they did not realize that the next day would bring resurrection. They thought they had lost everything.
The Alexander Nevsky church was built in 1896 over important archaeological discoveries found in 1858, including what is believed to be the Judgment Gate.
Christians believe that Jesus passed through this city gate on the way to Calvary.
For decades this building was decaying because of a lack of money and was not often open.
Now it has been restored and is open all day. But not many pilgrims or tourists seem to know this, and this very special church is mostly empty.
Next time you are in the Holy City, do pay it a visit.


Francisca said...

How curious that this is still an "undiscovered" church. There's lots to look at there. You're so right about the world turned on its hear, Dina. And I like your reflection shots, especially the first one with the lines of the floor moving up the box. Chag Sameach to you and yours, Dina.

Birdman said...

Happy Easter! Your posts during this holy season have taught me so much. Thank You!

Dina said...

Francisca, maybe because it doesn't look like a church from the outside so visitors to the Old City just walk by to the more famous churches.
I will post a few more photos of the church in the future. I have only a few because photography is forbidden. :(

Birdman, that makes me happy.

Friends, even though I present stuff for the blog's Christian readers too, remember that I myself am Jewish, i.e. not celebrating Easter.

Anonymous said...

Are they permitted to advertise this building is open now? Your photos make it look very nice.

James said...

What an amazing post! I love the reflection and the great info. I hope to visit the Holy City someday and if I do I will look for this church.

LauraX said...

beautiful reflection image Dina...chag sameach...I hope the bread of affliction is not afflicting you too terribly this year (lol)!

Dina said...

Abe, shalom. Advertise? Well, they stuck that new paper notice with the hours over the old sign (my last photo). That's about it, I suppose.

Thanks James. Please be sure to tell me if you are here someday.

LauraX, actually I am getting over-matzaed. It seems like such a long time until Wednesday when we can buy bread and eat pasta and cookies again.
Chag sameach to you too.

Winchester Daily Photos said...

Some lovely reflections and sounds like a place worth visiting

VP said...

A very peculiar reflection, I am glad this beautiful church was restored at last.

Sara said...

Thank you, Dina. When I return (being hopeful here) I want to visit this place....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this interesting journey. Great picture indeed ! Please have a good Sunday.

crystal said...

Interesting - when I was in college I saw the old movie by Sergei Eisenstein, Alexander Nevsky.

Kay said...

Wow! Two for one! I love how you've really learned both religions and are so very respectful to all.

crederae said...

Hello beautiful Dina, this is amazingly beautiful.the intoxicating rose red colour of love and redemption a reflection of light from 2000 years ago,nothing in terms of light years.

shalom love and light.

Ann said...

The reflections make it look like its floating above the floor.

JM said...

Very clever entry, Dina!