Every culture has (or seeks to have) its own visual attribute - one of the pathways to cultural identity, also performing an ontological function. The church can be called one of the visual attributes of Russian culture. The presence of this phenomenon, among other things, allows us to identify ourselves as Russians.
The church architecture was borrowed from Byzantium, but the main requirement to the location of the church in the Russian tradition was complete harmony of religious buildings and the surrounding landscape - Russian churches were mandatorily inscribed into the landscape and built on riversides or on hill tops. Even the smallest villages sought to build a church. Besides a symbolic reflection of Heavenly wisdom, also a trait of Byzantine churches, temples in Russia began to mean something else - something difficult to express in words, special peculiarities of the Russian soul. Thus, church in the Russian tradition begins to perform other functions, along with servicing religion – it becomes a way of cultural self-identification that roots the Russian man in his existence.
Russian culture, like any other, has undergone significant changes that transformed its values, but the church remains one of the visual attributes. However, the system of its integration into the surrounding landscape gradually fades away and is displaced by functionality. In the absence of a unified architectural style in the suburbs and, consequently, a complete visual chaos, we now have model temples often built out of the same standard materials as the surrounding apartment buildings. There are attempts to fit new churches into the landscape, to bring completeness to the topos. But whereas before churches stood out with their architecture and towered above the surrounding landscape, now they are buried and lost in the forest of high-rise buildings. In Moscow, for example, there is a so-called "Program-200", which aims to build more than 200 standardized model temples. The plan did not consider the special role of the church and new landscape absorbs it. It loses its identity and is no longer perceived as something sublime. A church, instead of being a channel for self-identification with topos/culture, becomes a blind spot, an invisible element, excluded from the system of identity formation.