Russia's First Lady Visits Church Where
Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolayevich is Buried
St Michael Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR) in Cannes on the French Riviera
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The Russian President's wife Svetlana Medvedeva, who came to Cannes to officially open the Russian Art Festival, visited the local Church of Archangel Michael.
It was built in 1894 on donations of Russian community and is one of the oldest Russian Orthodox churches in France.
Medvedeva went down to the crypt where the former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army in World War I, Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolayevich, who emigrated from Russia after the Revolution, is buried.
Cannes church gave shelter to Russian emigrants after October 1917. Yelena Valyano, a participant in the Resistance movement killed by the occupants a few days before the city was liberated in August 1944, is also buried in the crypt.
The church rector priest Maxim Massalitin told that the church belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate and is in jurisdiction of the Russian Church abroad that reunited with the Church in Russia in 2007, but partly preserved its autonomy.
Medvedeva showed interest in history of the parish, parochial life and opportunities to organize education in Russian. The rector told her about his plans to open a school at the church.
"Today's meeting supports us, it's another prove that Russia revives and does not forget about spots of Orthodox culture and spirituality abroad," the priest said.