As part of his very generous, ongoing project to educate me, I have made another day trip with V, this time to New Jerusalem, a monastery near Istra on the Moscow outskirts. destroyed by the German army on their retreat from Moscow in the Second World War, it is still in the process of restoration.
Yet even under scaffolding it is an extraordinary place. Modelled in plan pretty accurately on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in (old) Jerusalem - by Patriach Nikon from the 1650s - in three dimensions it starts to do all sorts of weird things, like putting a multitude of huge sash windows in the major dome, oh, and also having two major domes rather than just the standard one. There are some baroque additions that add to this wayward flavour, but the original design was part of Nikon's deliberate intention to make Russia the third Rome and the centre of global Christian belief, leading to religious reforms and the ensuing schism from what we now call the Old Believers.