When you see the towering golden domes atop this Russian-style church in Darmstadt, it will quickly become clear why it was so loved by the czars.
Find the Russian Chapel shining in a scenic setting in Darmstadt. The building is an architectural wonder and an important historic site. Not only are the frescos and paintings a sight to remember, but the chapel is still regularly in use and can be visited to experience worship.
Originally known as the St. Mary Magdalene Chapel, the Russian Chapel was built by architect Leon Benois. As Mary Magdalene was the patron saint of the mother of Russian Emperor Nicholas II, the church includes stone imported by train from Russia. Try to picture Nicholas II worshipping here. The ruler used this as his private chapel and made regular visits.
Admire the mosaic icons that adorn the exterior of the chapel. The side street entrance is located beneath the image of St. Olga, the patron saint of Emperor Nicholas’ oldest daughter. The copper roof has turned green over time, but the golden domes and trimmings continue to sparkle.
Head inside to see the walls covered in painted lilies. Notice the way the vine images wrap around the chapel, symbolizing the Garden of Eden. A few artifacts also remain from the early days of the church, including a burial shroud and a few banners that were specifically made for the Russian Chapel. Take the time to look at the two portraits as well, one of Emperor Nicholas II and one of his wife, Empress Alexandra.
The Russian Chapel is open to all, and the regular church services are attended by people of many different backgrounds. The chapel is intimate and compact, making it the perfect stop on a walking tour around the local area. You don’t need to worry about paying, as it is free to enter.
Bring a picnic to enjoy an afternoon in the adjacent park or a few hours spent sitting next to the pond nearby. In sunny weather, sit out on the lawns and take in the atmosphere. If the rain starts to fall, you’ll be sheltered by the trees just a few steps away and get to see the magnificent domes in a whole new light.