The Russian Orthodox Church of Sylvanes,

                       "A tale of an encounter and friendship of cultural and spiritual exchange." 

It rises up in all its monumentality in the heart of a cirque of mountains, in the midst of forests.
For those who discover it for the first time, it appears like a "little sister" to the Kiji churches, defying them only by the extend of its surface.
Made out of wood in the pure tradition of the Russian VIIth century,
it reaches up from its ground base to 27 metres in height, and stretches over a surface of 300 m².

It was built in Russia, in the Kirov region, by local artisans and farmers, then, once it was dismounted,
headed for France by railway under the aegis and patronage of the National French Railway,
S. N. C. F. Several months later, in July 1993, it arrived at the station of Millau in Aveyron.

For six months several young Russians, the same who had built in Russia, collaborated together in an evironment of exceptional friendship,
towards the construction of this church in the forest of Pessalles, near the Barn Priory in Sylvanès.



Why this monument ?


Because right from the outset of its foundation, the "Centre of Spiritual and Cultural Encounters" in Sylvanès abbey has allocated an important place to Russian culture and to its Orthodox tradition. 

In the propitious period of "perestroïka", Father André Gouzes and Michel Wolkowitzky travelled to Russia.  There they developed privileged relations with Mgr Alexander Moghilev, the Bishop of Kostroma. Numerous exchanges took place : a mutual and fraternal aid unfolded, with visits, the hosting of young Russians, invitations to artists and intellectuals, which sealed a deep and faithful friendship.

And so it was that on his journey to France, Mgr Alexander, impressed by the beauty of the site and the surroudings at the "Prieuré des Granges ("Barn Priory"), suggested building a beautiful wooden church for us, in the pure russian tradition, as a sign and bridge of a new era between our countries and our churches. 

        The late Father Serge de Beaurecueil was the patron.       

- the whole story by clicking on the photo -

  Both the national and international press have given this coverage.

The church was honoured with a Ukrainian prize.  And in July 2007 the Festival of Religious Documentaries in Belorussia awarded "The Little Russian Sister from Sylvanes Abbey", a film by Vladimir Kozlov.