The astonishing Russian Orthodox Church of Sylvanès... made of wood.

The Abbey of Sylvanes in Aveyron is one of the most visited buildings, but it is not the only place dedicated to a cult.

In the forest of Pessales, above the priory of the Granges, in an ecumenical spirit nestles a surprising wooden church, in Russian Orthodox style, a real "wooden cathedral".

A Russian church in the heart of Aveyron's nature, the encounter with the Slavic soul is unexpected!


A bit of History...

Coming straight from Russia, rebuilt identically by young Russian carpenters in the middle of the Pessales Barns forest, this building made of pine logs and topped with its bulbs and bells deserves curiosity.

The church was built in the Kirov region, in the purest tradition of the 7th century and assembled in Russia.

It was dismantled and in 1993 it took the direction of France by the railway under the aegis of a patronage of the SNCF.

Many months later, in July 1993, it arrived at Millau station in Aveyron.

From there it was transported by trucks to be rebuilt according to Russian techniques, without bolts or pegs.

For six months the young Russians, those who had built it in Russia and the local inhabitants, collaborated in an exceptional climate of friendship in the reconstruction of this church.

Very sensitive to Orthodox music, it was during one of his trips to Russia that Father André Gouzes, a Dominican from the Abbey of Sylvanès, a child of the country, was dazzled by the beauty and simplicity of these wooden churches.

Born of cross-border cultural and spiritual encounters, the origin of this chapel tells an extraordinary story.

From this unlikely communion emerges an incredible harmony with the nature that surrounds it.

From floor to ceiling everything is wood.

The "Church of the Etimasia of the Throne" offers in the oriental chapel a "beautiful iconostasis" as well as a rich collection of festive icons.

The Oriental Chapel contains two exceptional Flemish works from the 16th century, a large Christ on the Cross and a triptych of the Adoration of the Magi.

The chapel is 27 metres high and covers an area of 300 square metres.

From Sylvanès Abbey (4.5 km), take the direction of Les Bains, follow the D10 to the left, then the D92 to the right in the direction of Fayet. After 800m, take the small road leading to Les Bertrands.


Russian Orthodox Church
12360 Sylvanès


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To go further....

L'Église Orthodoxe Russe: Organisation, Dogmes, Hérésies

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