Discover World Creation at Annenkirche
My first acquaintance with this place began about a year ago, when, while walking around St. Petersburg, I saw an unusual sight - a giant inflatable dove in a festive cap was installed on the roof of a church. Then after studying several sources, I realised that the Annenkirche is not an average Lutheran church, it is an amazing place with a rich history that has become a vibrant cultural centre, hosting a variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year. What surprised me the most and will probably amaze you is that this church is active and services are held there regularly. The “Creation” exhibit which I recently saw is current, and it is definitely worth a visit.
The exhibition shows through installations how God created the world in six days: light, sky, land and sea, plants, animals, and finally, humans. It is not a big deal if you have some difficulties with understanding of this religious and philosophical topic, because every hour there is a half-hour excursion, where the guide will explain in detail the meaning of each installation based on the text of the Bible.
I would like to briefly describe all the days for a general understanding of the event concept.
On the first day God created light and darkness, on the second day - water and firmament, on the third day - dry land and plants appeared. The planet display that hangs in the lobby above the stairs symbolises the derivative of the first three days of creation.
On the fourth day God creates the luminaries - the Sun and the Moon.
On the fifth day, God creates birds and fish from water.
On the sixth day, all other animals come from the ground, but He makes one creature by his own hands from the dust of the land – human being. His name is Adam because in Hebrew it means a man.
Next, the Garden of Eden is created, where Adam is very lonely and God creates his wife, Eve - the mother of all the living, from his rib.
God rested on the seventh day after completing the creation of the Earth.
It is also interesting that in a week the unit of measurement is considered seven because of the days of the creation of the world. The seventh day of the week in Judaism, Saturday, on which it is prescribed to abstain from work, therefore, in the current week, Saturday is considered a day off. Furthermore, the week in the Bible began with Sunday.
I was especially impressed by the Garden of Eden exposition. Everything is done so stunning and breathtaking that it seems that the flowers are literally floating in the air. By the way, it is one of the most well-known and fascinating stories in the Bible which describes a paradise for Adam and Eve created by God. There is also a funny painting where the first people on Earth are represented as cats and the sacred fruit is depicted as a Christmas tree decoration.
In case you want to take a break from philosophical thoughts about human existence over a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and cookies, then the café on the 2nd floor will be the ideal solution. Additionally, next to the cafeteria is a prayer hall, where you can rent a book about Christianity. There is a varied selection of unique copies. You will also have an opportunity to write a letter to God and throw it in a special box, and on Sunday at the service they will pray for all the notes. After resting, go to the 1st floor, where postcards and catechism are displayed, which you can take for free or for a donation at your own discretion.
Generally, the special atmosphere of this place is given by subdued lighting and calm, enchanting music, which is completely unusual for the Orthodox church I am familiar with. Decorations and the interior of the building (it survived a fire in 2002 and therefore has a special mysterious charm inside) are so atypical and completely unchurch.
The exhibition is available until November 26, 2023, the entrance fee for students is 400 rubles, payment is possible with a Pushkin card. So, round up your friends and head over to the Annenkirche in St. Petersburg for an experience that is both enlightening and visually stunning.
P.S. I strongly recommend you follow the announcements of occasions in this church, due to the fact that there you can find events for every taste: music concerts, a chess club, lectures on art and a German speaking club.
Address: Кирочная улица, д. 8, лит. В / Saint Petersburg, Kirochnaya, 8V, m.Chernyshevskaya