Inside the Upper Church in the Russian Orthodox Church of Florence

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A recent visit to this beautiful church in Florence led me to write posts on the exterior and the interior of the lower church.  Today I want to focus on the upper church.

You climb the stairs outside the front door of the church, and enter the upper church through this lovely stained glass and iron work door.

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Walking through the door pictured above, I entered the upper church and my immediate thought was “more is certainly more.” I don’t think there is one square inch that is not decorated in this sacred space.

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Even the pavement was quite interesting.  The entire upper church has the feeling of the arts and crafts movement.

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While the consecration of the lower church took place on October 2, 1902, the upper church was not completed because of problems with insufficient funds.

A generous contribution from Princess Elena Petrovna Demidoff of San Donato saved the day and the upper church was consecrated on time, on October 28, 1903. Aside from the Russian locals, Russian diplomats and Orthodox clergy from Rome and Nice, where Preobrazhensky would also design the Orthodox cathedral, an admiral, the captain and the crew of the Russian battleship “Ossljabja,” then in dry dock in La Spezia, joined the celebrations.

 

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