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Saint Catherine Armenian Church

In 1770, Catherine II allowed the construction of a church for the Armenian Community in Saint Petersburg as well as in Moscow. In Saint Petersburg she offered some land on Nevksy prospect. A year later the construction began under the supervision of Georg Veldten. It was completed in 1776. It was mainly financed by Ivan Lazariev, head of the Armenian community and jeweler of the imperial court. In 1780, the Armenian archbishop Joseph Akhrutiants consecrated the classical style church in front of Prince Grigori Potemkin. Later the church underwent many modifications. Shut down in 1930, it hosted the headquarters of antiaircraft defense during World War II. At the end of the conflict, a studio for building musicals’ decors settled in the premises. After the collapse of the USSR, it was given back to the Armenian community in 1993 and was then restored. Saint Catherine Church was consecrated again in 2000 by Gareguin II, supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians. Russian Orthodox Church’s Patriarch Alexis II also took part in the ceremony.
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