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Oldest Orthodox cathedral in Italy rendered to Russian Orthodox Church
Italian Province Alto-Adige authorities passed St. Nicholas cathedral in the city of Merano in the uncompensated use of Russian Orthodox Church, according to TASS. The day before, a gala ceremony of signing the corresponding agreement was held in the city of Bolzano, the capital of this Province. Russian Orthodox Church Patriarchate of Moscow representatives have commented that the agreement provides the congregation with absolute freedom to organize their liturgical activities.
St. Nicolas Cathedral in Merano is one of the oldest Russian churches in Italy. It is located in the north of Italy, not far from the border with Austria. Guests from the Russian Empire noticed a small resort town called Merano at the second half of XIX century. Russian Committee providing medical aid to the ill compatriots was established there in 1875. A bit later, first Russian Orthodox church in honor of St. Nicholas was inaugurated and sanctified at a rented house in Merano in 1884.
Russian Committee and Cathedral were closed during the Second World War. However, after the war these territories were appropriated by Italy. Hiding from the Revolution in Europe, first Russian emigrants moved there in 1918.