Buddhist Temple of Saint Petersburg

This temple was built with the small Buddhist community that inhabited Saint Petersburg in the early 20th century. Agvan Dorziev, buryat and ambassador of the 13th Dalai Lama at the Russian court, convinced Nicolas II to allow the construction of the temple in 1909. Built in the Tibetan style (with a few adjustments), the datsan (Buddhist temple) was consecrated in 1915. At the time it hosted nine lamas. It was closed in and looted in 1919. It reopened between 1924 and 1935. Later all the lamas were arrested by the NKVD and KGB. The building after being used as a transmission center during the Second World War and then was given various purposes. The datsan was visited by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1987 but was only returned to worshipers in 1990. Nowadays, the temple is an important center of propagation and education of Buddhism in Eastern Europe. One can attend the many services that take place everyday, as well as meet an astrologer or a specialist in Tibetan medicine.
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