Roadside reminders of Russia’s re-invigorated faith.
Travelers along Russia’s main roads may soon see more and more items of religious and cultural significance springing up at rest areas. This practice, common to many Orthodox countries, sees little roadside holy places pop up at various places on the road. They offer a place for travelers to rest, unwind from the rigors of the road, and reflect in the presence of holy things. Many will take a second to pray to the saint featured for safe further journey and arrival. They are a peaceful and beautiful part of the landscape. Russia is now re-embracing this tradition with gusto.
Avtodor, the Russian state road construction contractor, is currently in the process of building a icon kiosk on the M-12 leading to the pilgrimage complex at Diveyevo. Avtodor reminded that recreation areas near some roads of the state-owned Company already have kiosks, chapels and churches. For example, on the M-11 a kiosk with icons of the Mother of God "The Sign" and the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky is installed.
You heard that right. Avtodor is building Orthodox roadside holy places with Federal money, again showing the renewed dedication Russia has to its Christian roots proceeds not just from the people, from the bottom up, but top down from the government itself.
So if you find yourself traveling by car in Russia, look out for these new little holy places. And if you feel the need to stretch your legs, why not pull over and check them out?
Read more about this story here. (In Russian)