Church of the Archangel Michael in Spain

The first Russian Orthodox Church in Spain

Bishop Michail and Archpriest Vladimir.

November 2002.

This is a unique project in that, for the first time in the two thousand year history of Christianity, the first Russian Orthodox Church is being built in the very Catholic country of Spain (the only other Orthodox Churches are a Greek Church in Madrid and a Serbian Church in Barcelona).

On the 21st November 2004, on the new Church’s feast-day, the foundation stone was laid and the Cross was erected for the first Russian Orthodox Church in Spain, dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

This was a truly historic event, with the participation of large numbers of the faithful, representatives of administrative authorities, the public and the Catholic clergy of the Province of Alicante. The event was wisely reported in the Spanish press and on television.

About 20,000 emigrants from Russian and CIS countries are registered on the territory of the province of Alicante (Spain).
In emigration, at all times it is understandable that people who are cut off from their home, their country, their family, culture and traditions have a spiritual need to create a Church in order to have contact with a corner of their own land,

communicate in their own language and receive spiritual joy. In 1997, a small group of Russian Orthodox believers in Spain began the creation of a Church community in Altea Hills (Altea, Alicante).

By 2000, the first Russian Orthodox Association was registered with the administration of the town of Altea.

In 2002, the administration of the town of Altea allocated the community a plot of land 2000 m2 in area for the construction of a Church. The plot is situated in one of the most picturesque places of the coast of the Mediterranean Sea (in the resort area of Costa Blanca) next to the international motorway going to France and Portugal.

The acquisition of this plot involved great difficulties. By the prayers of our parishioners, the decision to allocate it for the construction of the Church of St Michael the Archangel was taken only after we were given assistance by the great Russian musician, Mstislav Rostropovich. He is constantly in touch with our community, for which all our parishioners would like to express their gratitude.

The Community took the decision to construct a wooden Church (the design was made using as a model a XVII century Church in Arkhangelsk Province). The appearance of this Church is remarkably harmonious, of cruciform ground plan, with five domes and an octahedral bell-tower. The area of the Church is 198 m2 and its height 27 m. The architecture and the material (wood) make it a true symbol of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church.

In December 2003, a high-quality prefabricated wooden “kit” for the construction of the Church was ordered from and made by the firm “Okimo-Dom” (in the town of Kirov).

The material for the domes was manufactured in the town of Volgodonsk by the specialised firm “Grant”. To facilitate the decoration of the interior of the Church, all the inner walls will be covered with plasterboard and then painted with frescoes according to the canons of the Church.
In July 2004, the community ordered a refectory and Sunday school with adjacent accommodation for the priest. To ensure the unity of the whole Church complex, the house is also made of wood (by the firm “Okimo-Dom”).

Earthwork (levelling of the ground and removal of earth) has been carried out on the site. A supporting wall 3-5 m high has been laid from large stones and pipes and cables have been laid (water supply pipe, drainage, rainwater drainage, electricity supply).

Drilling work has been performed and reinforced concrete piles driven in. The foundation and base have been laid from concrete.
Thanks to the invaluable help of the Russian Club of Orthodox Patrons in the persons of Mr A. Poklonsky and Mr A. Kulik, the community despatched all the materials mentioned above in 8 containers by railway and by sea from Russia to the port of Castilion in Spain. All the freight was received and unloaded on the building site in August.

The First Russian Orthodox Church of the Archangel Michael in Spain has held regular Church services since December 2000. The services are held in rented premises in the town of Altea (Alicante). The number of parishioners is growing all the time. Orthodox believers – Russians, Ukrainians, Moldavians, Rumanians, Bulgarians, Armenians, Serbs etc come to the services from several provinces of Spain (Murcia, Alicante, Valencia).

There was a congregation of about 500 at the Easter service in 2004. People came from 150-400 km away. The community, the priest, the deacon and the choir strive to make the arrangement of the interior of the temporary Church of the Archangel Michael and the spirit of the Church service comply strictly with the Church observances of the Russian Orthodox Church.

A sanctuary with icon-screen (iconostasis) has been made, and in the premises there are many copies of Orthodox icons which have been painted in Spain.
Ancient icons of the Kazan Mother of God, the Archangel Michael and other saints, brought to Spain by a miracle, inspire ineffable spiritual joy and tears.


The parish is under the pastoral care of a very wise and kind, highly spiritual priest, Archpriest Vladimir Koryak, the holder of a higher degree in theology. He has served in the sanctuary of the Russian Orthodox Church for 55 years.

The situation in the parish is stable, and the Church is fully staffed with clergy: a priest, a deacon, choirmaster, sacristan and choir. Over the 4 years of Church services 65 people have been baptised and 20 couples married.
Dear fellow-countrymen, Russian Orthodox Christians, we humbly ask you to take what part you can in the construction, equipment and decoration of the first Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Archangel Michael in Spain. The names of those who have contributed to the construction and decoration of this holy Church and who have donated to it will be written forever in letters of gold.

Priest in charge of the Church of the Holy Archangel Michael in Spain,
Archpriest Vladimir Koryak
The Church community

Dear fellow-countrymen, brothers and sisters in Christ. We entreat you graciously to take what part you can in this great work – the construction of the first Russian Orthodox Church in the land of Spain, for the glory of God. Since time immemorial, Churches have been built by the whole community. If you are interested in the spiritual and cultural life of our Orthodox community, we invite you:
- to look at the site where the Church is being constructed (163 km on Motorway No. 332; 163 km carretera N-332 Altea (Alicante);
- to hear the project for the equipment and decoration of the Church drawn up by the Church Council;
- to give your suggestions and remarks about it;
- and, finally, to make what material or other contribution you can to this work pleasing to God

Address where services are currently held:

Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa
Abda. Comunidad Valenciana 7, local 5
03590, Altea (alicante), Espana
Tel: 00-34-676455381, 646342852, Fax: 966885419
Internet page:

Donors’ names will be inscribed on a special plaque and will be remembered in our prayers forever.

Our bank account:
Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo /CAM/ Internacional de Benidorm
C/Esperanto, 23, Complejo Fuster S.Fco
03503, Benidorm, (Alicante), Espana
No. CTA: 2090-0373-80-0041381348
IBAN: ES 26-2090-0373-80-0041381348 RUSSIAN ORTHODOX

Church Council of the Orthodox Community of the Holy Archangel Michael in the town of Altea (Alicante), Spain