- Title: France's Hollande meets with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill
- Date: 5th December 2016
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 5, 2016) (AGENCY POOL) EXTERIOR OF ELYSEE PALACE FRENCH FLAG EUROPEAN UNION FLAGS REPUBLICAN GUARDS CAMERA FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE WALKING OUT OF ELYSEE PALACE HOLLANDE STANDING VEHICLE ARRIVING, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCH KIRILL STEPPING OUT, GREETED BY HOLLANDE / TWO ENTERING PALACE VARIOUS OF ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION BETWEEN HOLLANDE AND KIRILL
- Embargoed: 20th December 2016 12:31
- Keywords: Hollande Kirill Orthodox church religion patriarch Russia
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BLY7NR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:French President Francois Hollande met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill at the Elysee Palace on Monday (December 5).
Kirill, who was visiting Paris for the first time, blessed a newly opened Russian Orthodox cathedral on Sunday (December 4).
His visit to France was only the second of a Russian Orthodox patriarch, after that of Alexis II in 2007.
A domed Russian Orthodox spiritual and cultural centre at the foot of the Eiffel Tower was officially opened last October.
The church, whose grounds include a cultural centre and a primary school, is the biggest Russian landmark in Paris.
When construction started in 2014, Russia's ambassador to France Alexander Orlov had estimated there were up to 10,000 Russians in or near Paris and tens of thousands more throughout France but they had only about 20 churches.
During its opening, Orlov said the history of diplomatic relations between the two countries had its "highs and lows," from the Crimean War to Russian refugees settling in France after the 1917 revolution.
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