Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty

Over a hundred years old, the Russian Orthodox Zenkov Cathedral sits in lemon splendor in Panfilov Park in downtown Almaty. Built entirely of wood with no nails, the only timber building in the world that stands taller is Gliwice Radio Tower in Poland.

I like how the light through the stained glass windows plays on the floor and the icons.

The altar is beautifully and richly detailed. The central doors are known as the Royal Doors they signify the gates of Jerusalem and only the clergy can pass through them.

I love the way that people drift into orthodox churches at all times of day. Young men on their way to work, babushkas going to market. There are no chairs in Russian Orthodox churches. Sometimes groups of women just stand and sing a hymn. Many people stand deep in devotion to a particular icon. A saint they feel can help or should be thanked. I feel very close to God in orthodox churches.