Faces of the Chalk Cathedrals
Strategies for Preserving the Cultural Heritage
Where? Divnogorie Farm, Voronezh Province
Who? Divnogorie Natural Architectural and Archeological Museum-Reserve
Project chief: Sofia Kondratieva
The idea of this educational project was to unite the efforts of government, academia and the public in preserving a unique historical and cultural legacy. The limestone cave that is the 17th-century Cathedral of the Sicilian Icon of the Mother of God and part of Dvinogorie Reserve is the rare Russian example of an underground religious site. A multimedia installation informed visitors about the various limestone-cave churches in Voronezh Province, some of which are not open to visitors, as well as Christian cave sites throughout the world – Cappadocia, Crimea, Kholka, Kostomarovo, Shatrishch. It also suggested why Christians retreated to the sanctuary of caves. A video, with tolling of bells, choral singing and other religious music, was projected directly on the limestone wall. Making the cavecathedral into a movie theater was not easy, given the elevated humidity of the space.