Churches and Green Fords

I suppose it’s a bit like when you buy a green Ford and suddenly you see green Fords everywhere…..

 

After coming across the abandoned church in the forest…..

I am noticing abandoned churches everywhere…..and I mean everywhere

 

Driving from Yaroslav to Vicuga I started to take photos of each desecrated church in each village along the way…..

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after the third church in the third village I stopped getting out of the truck…

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after the sixth church in the sixth village I just stopped taking pics altogether….

 

There are churches in the larger towns and cities which have survived and with the Russian Orthodox Church undergoing an almost state sponsored revival many are being restored to their former glories like this one in Vicuga built in 1818.

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Unable to vanquish religion quickly and completely, the idea of the Communist government was to destroy the local churches making it more difficult for peasants and rural folk to attend services. Where populations were deported or exiled the churches fell into disrepair whilst other churches in the populated countryside were the structures were destroyed by setting the roofs and spires alight so as to basically ruin the church’s ability to withstand the weather….and after a single winter they were largely beyond repair

 

Larger provincial churches with politically approved clergy were available for those with the means to travel whilst the urban workers and elites were becoming increasingly secular anyway and not attending church services.

 

And so the Russian country side is littered with the skeletal remains of thousands of former churches, each one artistically unique and now lost forever.

 

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