Church in St. Petersburg, Russia

One of two fascinating gothic churches designed by the German-Russian court architect Yury Felton, the Chesme Church was consecrated in 1780, on the tenth anniversary of Russia's naval victory over the Turkish fleet at Chesme Bay, which occurred on the birthday of John the Baptist, hence the church's name. A wedding-cake structure with striped crenellated walls and five gothic turrets in place of traditional onion domes, this truly unique church has survived almost fully intact to this day, despite the fact that it was turned, along with the Chesme Palace, into part of a forced labour camp by the Soviet government - the cross on the central turret was replaced with a hammer, tongs and anvil to symbolize the toil of the proletariat. Just before the Second World War, the complex was given over to the Institute of Aviation Technology, which still occupies the palace to this day. 


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