The Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene in Warsaw

The main tower of the Saint Mary Magdalene Church

The main tower of the Saint Mary Magdalene Church ©_gee_/Flick

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene in the Prague district of Warsaw was built to the order of Prince Wlodimir Czerkawski between the years 1867 and 1869 for Russians living then in this part of the city. It was consecrated on the 29th of June in 1869. It was constructed in the Byzantine style with a Greek cross shaped foundation and with five domes. The project was made by Nicholas Syczew.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene belongs to the Diocese of Warsaw and Bielsk  of the Polish Orthodox Church. In the metropolitan cathedral the ceremonies are officiated according to the new calendar.

The necessity of an Ortodox church in Warsaw

After the construction of the railways in the second half of the 19th century in Warsaw was a large community of Russian workers. Therefor at the initiative of Archbishop Ioanichie of Warsaw and Novogheorghievsk in the summer of 1866 was created the Committee for the construction of the church. The church was important for both the Orthodox Christians in Warsaw and the entire Orthodox Russia.

The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene

The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene ©zakwitnij/Flick

The construction of the church

The plan of the Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene in Warsaw was made by architect N. Sâciov invited from the capital and the paintings and the icons are the work of the academics R. Vinogradov and V. Vasiliev.

The church is located at the corner of the Torgovaya street and “Solidarity” alley. It was built in Byzantine style, the sanctuary has the shape of a cross. The interior that survived the Second World War and managed to keep its precious treasures. It received the status of a metropolitan cathedral in 1921.

The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene was consecrated by Archbishop Ioanichie on the 29th of June in 1869, when Empress Maria Alexandrovna gave to the sanctuary an icon with the image of Mary Magdalene. The following year the church was visited by Emperor Alexander II.

The main tower of the Saint Mary Magdalene Church

The main tower of the Saint Mary Magdalene Church ©_gee_/Flick

The evolution of the church

Until the First World War the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene had the status of a parish. Besides the locals the church was attended by soldiers, policemen, gendarmes and Railway employees.

In 1928 in the basement was consecrated an other altar in the honor of the Passions of the Saviour and two years later the whole cathedral was renovated.

On the 17th of September in 1925, in the presence of the Polish Bishop, the delegates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the government representatives in the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene  was read the Tomos signed on 13 November 1924 by Gregory VII, the Patriarch of Constantinople, in which the Polish Church was declared autocephalous.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene in Warsaw

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene in Warsaw ©Effervescing Elephant/Flick

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