The history of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior began on December 25, 1812, when Emperor Alexander I signed a manifesto about creating a Church of the Savior Jesus Christ in honor of the victory over Napoleon's army. In 1817, a ceremony was held for the laying of the foundation for the Cathedral. However, this site was soon abandoned because the soil wasn’t firm due to underground streams.
In 1832 the Emperor Nikolay I approved a new draft of the temple, compiled by K. A. Tone. Nicholas I personally chose the site for the cathedral, which he decided to build on the site of the Alexis convent. The convent was transferred to Krasnoye Selo near what is now Sokolniki Park. All the buildings of the monastery were taken down. According to legend, the Abbess of the monastery swore that the destroyers were cursed, and that nothing of the new construction would stand for long. The ceremonial laying of the new temple took place in 1837 and it took nearly 40 years to build the cathedral --monument devoted to the Patriotic War of 1812. Its official opening took place in 1883 for the coronation of Emperor Alexander III to the throne.
Work on the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was overseen by four Russian emperors: Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III. The height of the Temple from the base to the tip of the cross on the great dome was 103 m (348 ft.), and an area of 6805 sq. m. (73,200 sq. ft.). About 10,000 visitors could be accommodated inside at one time. Built in the Russo-Byzantine style, on a grand scale, the building differed with the luxury of its’ exterior and interior decorations (sculptures by R. K. Clodt von Jürgensburg, A. V. Loganovskii, N. A. Ramazanov, F. P. Tolstoy, paintings by V. V. Vereshchagin, K. E. Makovsky, V. I. Surikov, and others).
The decision to demolish the temple was taken on the plan of the reconstruction of Moscow in 1931, at the meeting in the Office of Molotov. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was destroyed by several explosions in 45 minutes. It was planned to build a Palace of the Soviets, although the intent was not to be realized. In its place was built the swimming pool “Moscow”. In 1990 the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox church blessed the rebirth of the Temple of Christ the Savior and appealed to the government for permission to restore it to its original location. At the end of 1994 the pool "Moscow" was demolished. The reconstruction of the temple began in 1994.
In September 1997, the construction of the temple was completed. On Orthodox Easter Sunday 1998, the inauguration of the Museum of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior took place in the side Gallery Spaso-Рreobrazhenskaya Church. In 1999, the small ceremony sanctifying the Basic, upper Church, after which he got a full Holy status. In 2000, held Great consecration of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and it is open for everyone to visit.
Inside the temple are two halls (large-1250 seats and Small-457 sites), a museum, refectory, kitchen, garages, technical services. In the Centre of the lower floor lies the Lower Church of the Transfiguration. The name was not chosen at random. In order to remove the curse of the Abbess of Alekseevskii Monastery, the cathedral had to be dedicated to the Transformation.