Holy Virgin Cathedral, San Francisco

The Holy Virgin Cathedral, also known as Joy of All Who Sorrow, is a Russian Orthodox cathedral in the Richmond District of San Francisco. It is the largest of the six cathedrals of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. which has over 400 parishes worldwide.
Russian settlement in California began at Fort Ross in 1812. The original San Francisco parish of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia was founded on June 2, 1927. An earlier Holy Virgin Cathedral was located at 858-64 Fulton Street between Fillmore and Webster Streets. That building is still extant and was designated a San Francisco Landmark on May 3, 1970.
The current cathedral at 6219 Geary Boulevard in the Richmond District was founded by St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, born Mikhail Maximovitch. The neighborhood is known for its Russian restaurants and shops, and the "most visible Russian presence is the magnificent Holy Virgin Cathedral".
Groundbreaking took place on June 25, 1961, construction was completed in 1965, and the cathedral was consecrated on January 31, 1977. St. John, who died in 1966, is buried within the cathedral.
The cathedral was designed by Oleg N. Ivanitsky, and features five onion domes covered in 24 carat gold leaf. The "incredible beauty" of the interior, which is "lined by icons, religious paintings, and mosaics, and lit by a voluminous chandelier" can be seen only by those who attend religious services.
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Holy Virgin Cathedral Reviews
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4.9
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  • Amazing. To stand before the relics of St John of San Francisco is to stand in the presence of holiness. For Orthodox pilgrims, a must; moving and powerful. For non-Orthodox, a place of beautiful art,...  more »
  • The Holy Virgin Cathedral, also known as Joy of All Who Sorrow, is a Russian Orthodox cathedral in the Richmond District of San Francisco. It is the largest of the six cathedrals of the Russian Orthod...  more »
Google
  • This is the heart of San Francisco's very traditional expatriate Russian community. Beautiful Cathedral interior; interesting history. Worth a visit
  • Me and my husband attended on the celebration of Orthodox Easter...it was implemented in orthodox traditions of gathering to light up Easter eggs and Easter cake by abbe on Sunday around 1 pm with Easter repast for everyone afterwards. Better to be on time, otherwise light up by abbe will be not possible, that can be very disappointing. Also should be careful, otherwise someone can steal Easter eggs, that unfortunately happened with us. It was very unexpected especially on this particular day.
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