Together with the English, the Russians dominated Bad Homburg´s spa guests at the end of the 19th century. The initiative to provide them a place of worship originated with the Russian Privy Councilor Proworoff, widely known in Bad Homburg as the "Rosenkavalier" or Gentleman with Roses. This gallant gentleman seldom went out without a handful of roses, which he distributed one by one to the ladies he encountered along his way. Proworoff arranged the financing for the building; its plans were drawn up by the Saint Petersburg architect Professor Louis Benois, who had earlier designed the Russian Church in Darmstadt. Its lavish cornerstone ceremony in October 1896 attracted many illustrious guests, including Benois himself as well as the Russian Czar Nicholas II and his wife, who were staying in Darmstadt at the time, and Kaiserin Friedrich, who came from nearby Kronberg. Standing under a canopy, Czar Nicholas II laid the cornerstone himself. The Russian Church was inaugurated three years later. Today, it still serves as a place of worship for Bad Homburg´s Russian Orthodox congregation.