Image by Jan van der Crabben (Photographer)
Orthodox Church of Irkutsk, Russia
VLADIMIR, Russia — The unique, UNESCO-protected 12th-century Golden Gate is a gem of this ancient city some 200 kilometers east of Moscow.
Currently, it is owned by the Culture Ministry and houses an exhibition about the seizure of the city by Mongols in 1238. It is one of the key stops along the legendary Golden Ring tourist route of quintessential medieval cities including Yaroslavl, Suzdal, Kostroma, Rostov, among others.
But if the Russian Orthodox Church gets its way, the Golden Gate could soon become church property. The church has submitted a claim to the fortification, one of hundreds of similar claims it has filed with the government since passage of a 2010 law on the restitution of church property…
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