Chesme Church or Church of St John the Baptist, also called the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Yury Felten/aka Georg Friedrich Velten (or Veldten)


One of the earliest examples of Neo-Gothic architecture in Russia

Erected next to the Chesme Palace, this small Russian Orthodox church commemorates Alexsei Orlov's 1770 victory over Turkish forces in the Bay of Chesme, in the Aegean Sea, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774.

The church, built in Gothic Revival style and painted red and white has been compared to wedding cakes or candy canes. This style, introduced during Catherine the Great's time, shows the influence that English styles were having on Russian court architecture. For example, the lanterns on the roof are similar to those on the Gothic temple at Stowe House, part of the enormous family estate of Sir Richard Temple. Catherine's palaces and parks also reflected these English influences.

Details of the portal


Glorious filigree, finials and lanterns--or is it overdone?

See St. Maclou in Rouen France and ask that same question.


Works Consulted or Quoted:
William Craft Brumfield. A History of Russian Architecture. Seattle: University of Washington P, 2004.
George Heard Hamilton. The Art and Architecture of Russia. New Haven: Yale UP, 1983.
Shvidkovsky, Dmitri. St. Petersburg: Architecture of the Tsars. London: Abbeville P, 1996. With fabulous photographs by Alexander Orloff.

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© 2017 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site) and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.