The Church of the Prophet Elijah was built between 1647-1650. It was a votive church of the Skripin, wealthy Yaroslavl merchants. Alterations made in the 18th and 19th centuries included reconstruction of the Chapel of the Intercession and the replacement of the old roofing by a hipped roof. In 1896 the church was enclosed by a fence with a grille. In the late 1950s restorative work was carried on in the north chapel and the bell tower. The north parvis has a small chapel on the east side, consecrated to SS Gury, Simeon and Aviv, which after the fashion of Moscow architecture was surmounted with a pyramid of kokoshnik ogee arches and a small dome. The chapel of the Robe of Christ,a small independent church was built as a place safekeeping of a venerable religious relic: part of the so-called Robe of Christ which the Skripin had received as a gift from Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and the Moscow Patriarch Joseph who acted as patrons during the construction of the church.
Just in case you mistakenly heard that it was all ice and snow in Russia, take a peek at the Big Bikini Exposition. This is right on the river Moskva in Moscow!Moscow has been the capital of Russia for almost its entire history. The exception is during the period of the Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 until the Russian Revolution 1917. For these two centuries the capital was St. Petersburg. The Russian Empire was the second largest contiguous Empire in world memory; only the Mongol Empire had been greater.Check out what's happening north of Mongolia these days, in ChitaAlthough you may not have heard of Sochi, on the Black Sea, they're building up quickly and hope to host the 2014 Olympics.Other periods of Russian history include the Tsardom of Russia, from Ivan IV to Peter the Great, and the Grand Duchy (14th-16th centuries).The earliest period of Russian history was ruled by the Novgorod Republic and Kievan Rus, which was the first Russian state dating back to 800AD in Kiev.Modern Russia remains one of the world's superpowers. They launched the earth's second satellite, called Sputnik 1, and were the first country to put a human being into orbit around earth. (The first one is called the Moon.)After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia became a federal republic of 83 states.Text by Steve Smith.