Valeria and I decided to visit the small town of Kronstadt on Kotlin Island in the gulf of Finland, founded by Peter I (aka Peter the Great) who conquered the island Kotlin from the Swedes. Abram Petrovich Gannibal the African grandfather of Pushkin is credited with overseeing the construction of the town. Kronstadt also has played an important in Russian history, both for its seaport and history. It was the site of the Kronstadt rebellion in 1921 when civilians, soldiers and sailors alike revolted against the Soviets.
They were ultimately unsuccessful though but have been credit by some in forcing Lenin to revise some f his policies. However it is far more famous in connection with St John Kronstadt. Because of the Orthodox saint the town is a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians around the world.
The weather wasn’t the best whilst we there mostly raining. However we saw the Naval cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt is a Russian Orthodox cathedral built in 1903–1913 as the main church of the Baltic Fleet and dedicated to all fallen seamen. The beautiful church was, unfortunately, surrounded by boards when we went. However the beauty if the imposing church could be seen from distance. The original consecration was attended by St Tsar Nicholas II. However 16 years from its operation the Soviets began their usual desecration of the church, damaging it considerably and turning it into a museum. It has been re-consecrated now but is not used often.
Some photos shown here are from my visit to Valeria’s family in Tver.
But Kronstadt has a connection to a famous spiritual leader that has quite possible drawed millions to the tiny town for veneration – St John Kronstadt.
The wonderworking Saint who has churches dedicated to him across the world was known for his charity and work among those others neglected.The New York Times said of his funeral “Thousands of followers of the noted priest from St. Petersburg and provincial cities gathered at Oranienbaum near Kronstadt to take part in the funeral service. The authorities feared that the ice would not support the great multitude and consequently they allowed no one to cross with the body from Kronstadt. The entire garrison at Kronstadt turned out to honour the dead priest and two regiments were sent down from Oranienbaum to St Petersburg to handle the crowd. The cathedral were the body was exposed was kept open the entire night, and long lines of people filed through to pay their last respects”