Since its establishment in 1860, the Russian Compound in Jerusalem has undergone many makeovers and ownership changes. Just a week before Nikita Khrushchev’s reign at the helm of affairs of the Soviet Union came to an end in 1964, he approved a decision to sell a 17-acre property in central Jerusalem that was owned by the Moscow Patriarchate for $3.5 million-worth of Jaffa oranges.
All that remained in Russian hands after the sale in the so-called Russian Compound was the Church of Holy Trinity, a landmark of Jerusalem, with its green domes and four octagonal bell towers, and another building. The sale, which was made in oranges because Palestine at that time lacked hard currency, is still considered controversial, as Russia lost a prime piece of real estate in what is the Holy Land for practitioners of three of the country’s major faiths.
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