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IN PICTURES: Paris adds giant golden dome to skyline

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All Photos: François Guillot/AFP
12:12 CET+01:00
As if it wasn't beautiful enough already, Paris has just added a new impressive sight to its skyline: a huge golden dome crowning the Russian orthodox cathedral being built near the Eiffel Tower. And there are more domes to come.

Weighing a total of eight tons, the dome has been hoisted 37 metres above the ground to top off the Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral.  

(A crane lifts up the dome to place it on top of the cathedral Sainte-Trinité at Quai Branly, in central Paris)

And it is just the first of a total of five cupolas, as they are also referred to, that will adorn the cultural and spritual centre when it opens at Quai Branly, on the banks of the river Seine,  in October.

In all, the domes will be covered in 90,000 sheets of gold leaf.

The project was launched in 2007 when Alexy II, the late patriarch of Moscow, visited France and said the Russian Orthodox Church wanted a bigger edifice in the French capital.

SEE ALSO: A history of France's most controversial architecture

(Monseignieur Marc (L) et monseigneur Michel pose in front of the large cupola. AFP)

But initial architectural plans were in 2010 rejected by the city's former mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, who described them as "mediocre architecture conceived in haste".

A revised plan drawn up by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte was finally given the go-ahead in 2013.

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Paris is already home to several Russian Orthodox churches but only one, the Cathedral of Three Saints Doctors, is under the control of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Aside from serving as a cathedral, the centre will also house a bilingual school and cultural services of the Russian embassy.

 

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