Monday, April 8, 2013

St Nicholas Cathedral, Nice

My big brother, Roge, just left for the airport.   We had some excellent days together.   
Roge is a great amateur photographer, a scholar and professor.  He led me to see the Riviera with "new eyes" so it was a pleasure to visit some popular sites with him.  

 He has left me the photos he took for my use and I will share them with you.   Please drop me a note if you wish to use his photos for your blog. 

Photo by John Puckett

   One of our visits together last week was to the recently re-opened St Nicholas Cathedral here in Nice.   Due to the generosity of Tsar Nicholas II,  this beautiful church exists in Nice , the largest Orthodox cathedral in Western Europe.  It is also a national monument of France.   

Photo by John Puckett

 The cathedral was built to serve the Russian population in the area and was consecrated in Dec. 1912  in memory of Nicholas Alexandrovich, Tsarevich of Russia, who died of TB in Nice while still a young man.  

As you probably know, from the mid 19th century, Russian and English nobility began to come to the Riviera to take advantage of the area's spectacular climate.   After the railway from Russia reached Nice in 1864, Tsar Alexander II was among the first of its passengers .  This began a further influx of Russians to follow.   

Since 2005, a dispute of title has kept this church closed to visitors.  In Jan 2010, however, a French Court adjudged that the title to the Cathedral should be held by the Russian state, and now for the first time in years, it is opened once more.  

Photo by Mary Payne

The interior of the church cannot be photographed but is chock full of impressive treasures including crowns, mosaic work, precious icons and an ornate altar piece.  A reverent visit is expected , men must not wear hats and women are given head scarves to wear in the sanctuary.  

 Whimsical and unusual paint work graces the crown ceilings and walls.  A busy little Russian girl maintains the silence, the votive candles and the small postcard stand and there are information cards in several languages including English.

The church still holds services for the faithful but parishioners are expected to stand throughout a two hour service.   If you are stalwart enough to endure this exercise in devotion you will be rewarded by the Russian choir on Sundays...(among other benefits one presumes.)  The site is well worth a visit and can be easily reached with the #12 city bus.

Photo by John Puckett

Photo by John Puckett

Photo by John Puckett

Mausoleum to the namesake of the Cathedral,  Photo by John Puckett

 Bust of Nicholas Alexandrovich, Tsarevich of Russia , Photo by John Puckett

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Roge's lovely photos.