St. Nicholas Cathedral is the primatial cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America. The original parish church was founded in 1930 as the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas. In 1949 the Synod of Bishops authorized the parish to be the church's National War Memorial Shrine and a national campaign to build a monumental Orthodox church in the capital of the United States was begun. The property upon which the cathedral is built was purchased in 1951. The substructure (basement) was completed in 1954 and was used for church services until the superstructure was completed in late 1962. A bell tower commemorating the millennium of Christianity in Russia was dedicated in 1988.

The cathedral architecture is based on the 12th century St. Demetrius Cathedral of Vladimir, Russia. Beginning in 1991, dedicated iconographers from Moscow led by Alexander Maskalionov painted icons throughout the nave in the traditional style. This work was completed in 1994.

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Founded: 1954-1962
Category: Religious sites in United States

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4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Blair Benz (7 months ago)
Beautiful Cathedral. The clergy and members of the parish are extraordinarily kind and welcoming. We are so fortunate to be a part of this community.
Yury B (22 months ago)
Usually visit this Russian Orthodox church when stay in DC. We had a great experience here.
Arkadiy Safarov (2 years ago)
We came here for Saturday night praying. On Saturdays it is spoken both in English and Russian. All the praying session took about 2 hours. The cathedral is very neat and nice! I haven’t been in Russian church for years, so I just had a great experience here. Blessings.
Richard Reeves (2 years ago)
Where East meets West in terms of Christianity, deeply Orthodox but with services in English as well as Slavic. Beautiful, too.
Walker Kerwin (2 years ago)
Beautiful inside. You must visit this jewel of a cathedral on Mass Ave. Just be respectful. Sweet little store in basement. Everyone is kind and don't miss the library in the rectory next door. They hold a yearly bazaar that is educational and tasty. Usually in October.
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