St. Nicholas Cathedral (Washington, D.C.)

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St Nicholas Cathedral - Washington, DC

St. Nicholas Cathedral (Washington, D.C.) is the primatial cathedral of the Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America. The office of the dean of the cathedral is currently vacant. Predecessors include the Very Rev. Constantine White and the Very Rev. Dmitry Grigorieff.

General information and history

Iconostasis and altar of St Nicholas Cathedral

The original parish was founded in 1930 as the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas. The liturgical life of the parish was held in various houses until it could purchase its own property. In 1949 the Synod of Bishops of the then-Metropolia, named the parish to be the National War Memorial Shrine. This led to a national campaign to erect a monumental church in the capital of the United States. In 1951 the property upon which the current cathedral stands was purchased. The substructure (basement) of the cathedral was completed in 1954 and was used for church services until the superstructure was completed in late 1962. In 1988 a bell tower was erected, commemorating the millennium of Christianity in Russia.

Architecture and iconography

Central dome of St Nicholas Cathedral - Washington, DC

The cathedral architecture is based on the 12th century St. Demetrius Cathedral of Vladimir, Russia. Beginning in 1991, dedicated iconographers from Moscow led by Alexander Maskalionov wrote icons throughout the nave in the traditional style. This work was completed in 1994.


The cathedral is at 3500 Massachusetts Ave NW at the corner of Edmund Street, in the District of Columbia.

External links