The beautiful tiny church of St. Andrew on the Vuoksa River – Russia
Although it is an unusual custom, it is technically possible to built a church in an area of only 100 square meters, and this small church on an island in Russia proves it. Designed by Andrey Rotinova, this sacred building is relatively very recent, having been consecrated in 2000. The Saint Andrew church (Priozersky district of Leningrad Oblast) is so small that the Vuoksa river that runs around it, looks like a sea compared to the dimensions of the microscopic building. The church is named after one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. Andrew is the patron saint of sailors, so on every ship is bound to have Andrew’s flag, and possibly surrounding the church on all sides by water began referring to this fact.
Photographers Anatolij Sokolov and Sergey Bessonov visited the place several times during the year, and managed to create breathtaking images of such a unusual building. Thanks also to the internet and to word of mouth connected to it, a myriad of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world do their best to visit the place, attracted by the natural landscape but also (and above all) by the possibility of visiting the structure.
To get to the island you need a permit from the parish priest and a rental boat, and it is a license that is often not given to tourists and curious. The building is mainly used for Orthodox ceremonies and church services are held on schedule by appointment, expecially baptisms and weddings. However, most photographers have to be content with immortalizing this small artistic wonder from afar.
However, in the aerial image from the top, the state of isolation of the building is highlighted, which seems to be immersed in an enormous river. The reason for such a singular and particular construction is not well known, but certainly the church creates a mix between the absolutely magical nature and human work. It is the only church in the world built on a tiny island and a solid rock protruding from the water serves as the foundation. It is the perfect place for solitude with nature and reflection on life.