31 May, Friday

RUSSIA, Irkutsk Oblast – Gilded domes that gleam and sparkle in bright sunshine are a delightfully common sight in the snowy town of Listvyana. A signature feature of Russian Orthodox Christian design, these onion-shaped domes are both beautiful and practical – acting as distinguished markers of holy sites while preventing snowfall from piling on the rooftop.

The shape of the onion domes is popularly believed to call to mind the flame of a candle, associating the architectural feature with ideas of faith and devotion.

Russia is not the only place where onion domes can be found. It is widely used in Mughal architecture, and has been seen in the Middle East and Central Asia.

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