Holy Virgin Cathedral, San Francisco
Holy Virgin Cathedral was built in 1965 and is the largest of the six Russian Orthodox cathedrals built outside of Russia.
The cathedral's architecture, with its onion domes, makes it a unique landmark in the city.
Backstory and Context
St. John was a prominent ascetic in the Eastern Orthodox Church who was active during the middle of the 1900s. He was a spiritual leader who gained a reputation as a miracle maker. Many of his followers attributed great powers to him such as prophecy, clairvoyance, and healing. He is sometimes referred to as St. John the Wonderworker.
The shiny golden parapets that adorn the top of the church are based upon Indian design, similar to that of the Taj Mahal. The Russian design is slightly altered however as the heavy Russian weather means they must be taller and narrower to avoid the accumulation of snow. Despite how they look, only 12% of the parapets are made of reflective gold as this is the perfect number for creating the effect.
B., Sarah. "Photos inside the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral." Richmond District Blog. May 24, 2011. Accessed April 30, 2017. http://richmondsfblog.com/2011/05/24/photos-inside-the-holy-virgin-russian-orthodox-cathedral.
"History." SF Sobor. Accessed April 30, 2017. http://www.sfsobor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90&Itemid=54&lang=en.