Church Made into a Swimming Pool?
And then the Revolution took place... All Lutherans in the city were persecuted and the churches basically dismantled during the next fifteen years. The Soviet government took over the buildings turning some into barns, granaries, movie theaters, and concert halls. St. Peter's had a different purpose in its future. They turned this church into a swimming pool for high-dive competitions.
|Showing how deep the pool is
|Bleachers in balcony
|Outside of the cement pool
|Bottom beams of the pool.
The church now opens this under the pool area to visitors to show what the Soviets did to their worship space. The gigantic cement albatross sits about two feet off the basement floor with the supporting cement beams lit in spotlights.
|Inside the former swimming pool
|Shallow end of the pool
The youth group now use the inside of the pool area as a theater to show plays or art displays. Access to the inside of the pool has been cut through the thick cement with added staircases for safety.
|Thickness of the cement around the pool
The church has dreams of restoring St. Peters to its original worship space. In reality, that is unlikely to happen. It is hard to fathom the amount of money that would be needed to demolish and discard the massive walls of this intrusion into their church. The Soviets did a great job of ruining something that was dedicated to God.
The Germans are using their situation to spread the Gospel to Russians who come to tour their church, however. I'll share more next week about this.