This chapter looks at the first construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior during the time of Emperor Alexander I. It narrates how the war and the invasion of Napoleon started a string of disasters for the Russians, and how the czar reacted to such an invasion. It narrates the period from the burning down of Moscow up to the proposal of the need for a victory monument. Professional architects proposed their designs, all of which adhered to a classical style. The most original design was that of the St. Petersburg architect, Andrei Voronikhin. Voronikhin was the only architect took seriously the idea of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior as a national monument. Voronikhin, however, died in 1814, thus being unable to realize the construction of his design. Instead, his protégé, a young painter named Karl Vitberg, tried his luck in the competition. This chapter thus recounts the historical background of the construction of the cathedral.
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