The Golden Cathedral

Written by Lauren Shea. Pictures by Lauren Shea.

As we left the gates of MIU, we entered a whole different world. On the streets were many carts venders selling all different kinds of fruit. Hanging from the fruit carts were delicious, mouth-watering candy bags for 500 togrog. There were cars and buses driving by using their horns like no tomorrow. Children were walking the streets alongside the many stray dogs from all over the city of Ulaanbaatar. After a 20-minute walk taking in the scenery, we finally made it to the big, iron gate of the Ulaanbaatar Orthodox Church. We followed one another inside to the courtyard of this massive, beautiful church.

We scoped out the structure of the building, took pictures, and sat on the steps near the front door of the church. We talked about the beauty of this exact location and all the great things the trip has showed us so far. To our surprise a tall, skinny man appeared and seemed to shoo us away from the church. Laughing at our embarrassment we scurried towards the gate. Instead, the man opened the doors to the church for us to go see inside. Looking around at one another, we all decided to take his offer and sneak a peek.

Walking into the church was breathtaking! Gorgeous, colorful artwork covered all the walls. A spiral staircase led us up to the balcony that gave us an up-close view of the huge, golden chandelier and of all the paintings on the ceiling. The man shared all kinds of information about the church with us and even allowed us into the office building of the church.

Saying our many thanks to this generous man, we headed back to MIU, delighted to learn more about the beautiful gold and white church that we all see each day from our windows.