As the last event in Moscow, President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim Jung-sook made a visit this morning to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior located downtown. It was originally built in 1883 after a 23 year-long construction period to celebrate the Russian Romanov Dynasty’s defeat of Napoleon in 1812. At that time, it was the biggest and highest building in Moscow, and it is still the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world.
In the wake of the Russian Revolution, however, the Russian Orthodox Church was subject to oppression, and the Cathedral was blown up with dynamite in 1931. After the demolition, the world's largest outdoor swimming pool was built on the site of the Cathedral.
As the Russian Orthodox Church revived following the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was restored where it was by the instruction of then President Boris Yeltsin. As the heart of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Cathedral is also a tourist attraction loved by many people from home and abroad with its massive scale and splendid decoration.
During the visit to the Cathedral, President Moon conversed with Archpriest Mikhail Ryazantsev and exchanged opinions on the development of the Russian Orthodox Church and various exchanges and communication between religious organizations in Korea and Russia.
Speaking of a food exchange event featuring cuisines from Korean Buddhist temples and the Russian Orthodox Church in May, which was jointly organized by the Church and the Korean Embassy in Russia, President Moon said it was a meaningful occasion that symbolized communication and harmony between different religions and expressed the hope that bilateral exchanges in religion and culture would be increased going forward.