Consecration of the Fortress Monastery

The Cathedral of the Armed Forces at Patriot Park was consecrated yesterday.

Though I’d say its interior aesthetics look more like something out of Morrowind, not Warhammer 40K.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Beautiful building. I do love the Russian Orthodox architecture.

  3. Daniel Chieh says

    Imagine being so little concerned with fortress monasteries.

  4. Extremely disgusting architecture (as well as all this stupid idea)

  5. SIMP simp says

    Are those holy cellphone towers?

  6. Korenchkin says

    Yeah, wtf
    It isn’t a disfigured concrete ziggurat

    This is how a real church looks like

  7. Felix Keverich says

    Are you Jewish by any chance?

  8. Hyperborean says

    I prefer the interior, I don’t think the sci-fi aesthetics on the outside is quite the right fit. Though it is at least better than a bland modernist style.

  9. Daniel Chieh says

    But where do you launch ballistic missiles?

  10. It is an astonishingly beautiful and elegant complex. In particular, I like the use of military green as the theme color as well as the excellent use of glass.

    An encouraging sign that it is possible to maintain continuity with tradition at a national level.

    As an aesthetic project, it stands out as a symbol of what is possible in spite of everything in today’s world. To me at least, it inspires the hope that what is possible is not all ugly or depraved or degenerated.

    Let us hope that this a herald of great things to come. Those of us that place value on these things should offer prayers and supplications on behalf of this new venture – I forsee it becoming an intense spiritual battleground between the forces that contradict within its conception and the forces outside. It does not seem inappropriate that a military cathedral should be a place of conflict.

    It would be worth the journey to see.

    As an aside, I find it interesting that a line drawn from Kubinka to Suzdal, very nearly runs straight through the Kremlin. I’ve not looked into it to see if there are churches, sketes, etc. in place already but it would be very neat if two more complexes were built, one to the northwest and one to the southeast to complete the crossing of the capital. Maybe think of it as a strategic spiritual defence initiative.

  11. It’s two sides of the same Quasimodo coin. “Disfigured concrete ziggurat” (in your post) vs “gypsy oligarch kitsch” (in Karlin’s post).

    In future centuries, both of these buildings can be an equally good self-satire of the political elite of the 21st century, and that 21st century man has lost any concept of harmony, proportion, or noble restraint – the rules of aesthetics.

    • The church used to have real European architecture, sometimes based on beauty, and like a Mozart piano sonata. But they are nowadays an unregulated and profitable construction industry, and even the most historical buildings, can be victims.

    Here is the oldest building in Ekaterinburg (this is one of the most important modern cities of Russia).

    It is a representative of 18th century classicism, not worse than 18th century buildings in Oxford or Salzburg – although a lot rarer, as it is the only one in the city. This is on the border of Asia, so the 18th century European beauty is not a common thing.

    Before “restoration” – an 18th century building is intact.

    The church has promised they will “renovate” the site.

    In 2013, they put a very high fence around it, and behind the fence in 2017, they – destroyed the building. (Btw they tried to cover from citydwellers how they were destroying the building at the time even hiding the bricks)
    What “restoration” will look like: 18th century classical restrained taste, replaced with 21st century gypsy oligarch kitsch. Although it will probably be popular with Chinese tourists in the future.

  12. Korenchkin says

    I wasn’t aware that Russian Revival Style is Gypsy Kitsch

  13. For the sake of fairness, the case in Yekaterinburg is a rare exception. Usually churches are restored exactly as they were

    But the new churches are (with a few exceptions) absolutely disgusting. Style a La Russe is an abomination

  14. I wasn’t aware that Russian Revival Style is Gypsy Kitsch

    this is the style of the ROC.
    Secular buildings often have normal architecture

  15. Korenchkin says

    Secular buildings look like shit 90% of the time, and I prefer your pic then being surrounded by grey blocks or twisted steel+glass turds that have been popping up all over Europe like a tumor

    You call it “disgusting” because you have some butthurt axe-grinding obsession with the ROC and Orthodoxy in general, but it simply isn’t

  16. Pseudorussian was extension of art nouveau – it was usually attractive as was still typical into the 20th century and late 19th. Russian-byzantine style of temples try to follow a consistent purpose: attempting to recreate a historical style (although the discipline of trying to keep to a single historical style is started to lose in the 1990s already).

    • I don’t think it is unjust, to say this new kind of architecture is a “21st century gypsy oligarch style”. Otherwise, why does a temple need to have a sunroof?

    This is a design which has aspects of the back roof of a very rich businessman’s home (and they perhaps use the same contractors); you can grow tropical plants in there. (With all the glass, a company of Rotenberg’s son has a steady income though, with the cleaning contract for the building).

  17. Pseudorussian was extension of art nouveau

    Pseudorussian wasnt extension of art nouveau.
    This style appeared at the beginning of the 19th century, many buildings were created in this style – and all these buildings (with the rarest exceptions) are exceptionally ugly

    Here is an interview with the Orthodox architect Mikhail Filippov

    “— What is wrong with the old Russian style as a model for a modern temple? Many, on the contrary, consider the most unfortunate experience to depart from these traditions, the construction of temples in the Western style.

    This is a very common opinion in the Church environment, but in spirit it is typical of the old believers. … This is confirmed by the undeniable fact that Russian style, from about 1830 to the present day, has not produced a single work that is convincing in artistic terms. None of the numerous pseudo-Russian works can be compared with the true masterpieces of the X I — XVII centuries. Even in such a high-quality work as the Marfo-Mariinsky monastery, you can feel the falsity of stylization. And it is not by chance that its author, Alexey Viktorovich Shchusev, made a stylization of the Mayan pyramid in his next work (the mausoleum). Russian Russian Baroque and classicist churches adorn the historical centers of Russian cities and monasteries in Russia

  18. inertial says

    “Normal architecture” is when everything looks like Roman temples?

  19. Korenchkin says

    It’s not a sunroof, it’s stained glass
    And I didn’t want to imply that this Church is Russian Revival, it’s a new style and I look forward to seeing it develop

  20. Otherwise, why does a temple need to have a sunroof?

    Well, maybe they are a kind of pioneers for what will happen in the 21st century. I recall the proposal for a glass sunroof after the Notre-Dame fire.

  21. I would say this is at least a sunroof – but they had fortunately reduced slightly from the architect’s design, which was like a Greenhouse×1500-67035_d_850.jpg

  22. inertial says

    Otherwise, why does a temple need to have a sunroof?

    For light?

  23. inertial says

    That’s how, in the later Soviet times, they used to justify the destruction of Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. “No artistic value.”

  24. “Normal architecture” is when everything looks like Roman temples?

    Since Gothic is not suitable in this case, the architects could try to make a stylization of medieval Russian architecture

    But the khaki ugliness created is disgusting

  25. Korenchkin says
  26. That’s how, in the later Soviet times, they used to justify the destruction of Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. “No artistic value.”

    “No artistic value – this is a completely correct assessment of Christ the Saviour in Moscow

  27. Mr. Hack says

    The new church, to my eye, shares a lot in common with the “normal” one that you present. Large stained glass windows adorn both temples. The ornate decoration inscribed on the walls of the Bell tower, including columns, is definitely a throwback to an earlier time. The vast interior is quite impressive and draws one into it for communion with a large, omniscient God. Let’s pray that the Mother of God’s blessing surrounds Russia and protects her from any foreign military attacks.

  28. For light?

    I’m no architect, but I am sure more attractive ways if you want to increase light, than to mix together unrelated buildings types, that have a different function and are from different historical times.

    Sunroof is like a garden facing back of a mansion, or luxury swimming pool – or perhaps inspired by GUM; domes from a church. Tall arched windows from a classical 18th century style building. Las Vegas style mix up.

    Perhaps some people (although not me) will find it a cool kind of 21st postmodern mix-up- for example, the greenish glass they use reminds of skyscraper glasses, perhaps even Imperia Tower in Moscow-City? They are using a green that is normally installed in office skyscrapers.

  29. Interesting perspective to take on one of the most beautiful structures.

    Would be more than happy to have this structure in my neighborhood – perhaps we can pack up and ship this ghastly eyesore to me? I promise to take good care of it.

  30. Max Payne says
  31. Niccolo Salo says

    Fantastic stuff, especially when juxtaposed with what is happening in the West. Congrats Russia and good work.

  32. anonymous coward says

    He’s a sovok boomer.

  33. anonymous coward says

    Catherine’s 18th century Russian architecture is second worst to concrete commieblocks. Both are mass-produced products of deranged bugmen that plague our cities.

    It’s no surprise ‘melanf’ likes it.

  34. Wrong as always, melanf is not a boomer, and sovok is certainly not the word either – something like secular derzhavnik would be accurate.

  35. Korenchkin says

    It has more artistic value then the Lahkta center

  36. Guillaume Tell says

    Beautiful. Thank you @AK for having posted this news note.

    Meanwhile, in the Ole’USA:

  37. Guillaume Tell says

    What’s a derzhavnik ? Has to do with Derjavine?

  38. Lars Porsena says
  39. Alexander Benoit about this Cathedral

    The architect Parland made his way to the Emperor with his project (using connections with the clergy and lower officials), and his monstrous invention, presented in a very effective coloring, found the highest approval. Already during the construction of the ” Temple on blood” The Academy of arts insisted that the too obvious absurdities and shortcomings of Parland’s project be corrected, but, alas, even in this corrected, final form, this pathetic imitation of Basil the Blessed strikes with its ugliness, being at the same time a real blot in the ensemble of the Petersburg landscape.”

  40. Simpleguest says

    Well, to be honest it does look a bit kitschy with the preponderance of coloured ornaments, unlike St. Basil where all of that is much more measured. And it really fits poorly with the rest of the city skyline.

    To me, most pleasing are the Russian medieval, pre Romanov era, churches. They all look like they have come out of a fairy tale.

    Scarce in architectural details, they are, nevertheless, quite elegant, gentle and have this feminine feeling created by the preponderance of curved shapes. They look non-assuming, non-threating and quite welcoming.

    Compare them with the Gothic cathedrals of the same era: huge, imposing, almost brutally masculine with the preponderance of spires. Unifirm in colour, with stone darkened with time, they look intimidating rather than soothing.

    As for the new Main Military cathedral, I think it’s fascinating. Some of the details of the interior are just breathtaking. It is a very powerfull statement to the future.