It is a freezing -8°C outside, but you would never know it inside the warm temple here in Saint Petersburg. It is so warm that I am walking around inside the temple with my upper body covered only by a flimsy tee shirt. I do not even have socks on!
Outside, we see visible signs of the cold — everything is covered in a blanket of snow and ice, and icicles hang from the gutters and window ledges — but inside it is nice and toasty.
That is because thick external walls and double-glazed windows and skylights insulate us from the freezing winter weather outside, hot water radiators heat all the rooms, and the tiles in the main temple floor are heated from below by a network of hot-water pipes.
Thanks to thoughtful, energy-efficient construction, we are cocooned from the harsh reality outside, where even the Baltic Sea, right outside my window, is frozen solid.