April 20, 2012
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva attended the consecration ceremony of the Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt. The ceremony was carried out by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Kremlin press service reports.
The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt is the main shrine of the Russian Navy. The cathedral was founded in 1902 by decree of Emperor Nicholas II in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Russian Navy. In 1929 it was closed and desecrated.
“The Naval Cathedral has a very complicated history, in which, like in a drop of water, the dramatic 20th century history of our nation is reflected,” noted Medvedev. “It was built and consecrated in the beginning of the century; this was done by popular demand of sailors, who were personally involved in collecting donations and contributed to the construction of the cathedral in cooperation with the Admiralty. St John of Kronstadt also participated in the cathedral’s consecration. Unfortunately, because of subsequent events, the cathedral was desecrated and for a long time the building was used for other purposes. But a city like Kronstadt, a city that is home to Russia’s naval base, must have its own large naval cathedral.”
In 2009, at Patriarch Kirill’s initiative, a board of trustees was established to restore the cathedral. It is expected that the cathedral will be fully restored in time for the 100th anniversary of its first consecration, which will be celebrated in 2013.