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Menshikov Tower, Church of the Archangel Gabriel on Chistiye Prudy in Moscow

A lot of beautiful sights are located in Moscow. Walking through the city center, you can often see various cultural monuments. Each object contains many secrets and stories, which are always interesting to learn. Separately, we should pay attention to the temple in the center called the Menshikov Tower. It is located in the historical center of Moscow, in the area of Chistye Prudy. This object is definitely worth a visit, as it is truly unique and executed in a very unusual style, thanks to which attracts a lot of attention of both tourists and local residents.

A small description of the temple

So, first of all, it's worth to get acquainted with this unusually beautiful monument of architecture. The object has another name - the Church of the Archangel Gabriel on the Clean Ponds. This is an Orthodox church, it is located in the Basmanny district of Moscow. It is interesting that the building is made in the Baroque style, to speak more accurately - the Petrine Baroque. In Moscow there are not so many buildings built in this style that would be well preserved to the present day. The same building is also the earliest, its construction falls on 1707. However, after a while, already in the 1770s, the church was significantly rebuilt. It is interesting that she acted only in the summer.

Why did the temple get such a name?

In addition to the fact that the temple is named after the Archangel Gabriel, one can often hear his second name - the Menshikov Tower. Many are wondering why this is so? The answer to this question is very simple. The church was built by the order of one person, which Alexander Menshikov was (about his personality will be told a little later). Thus, it becomes clear where the temple got its second name.

The personality of A.D. Menshikov

As you know, Menshikov played a big role in the construction of the temple. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider his personality separately in order to get a better idea of his projects and other activities. So, this is a well-known Russian figure in the state and military sphere. Menshikov had several titles, such as Count and Prince. For a long time he was a favorite of Peter I. After his death he took part in the reign of Catherine I. At this time he actually becomes the ruler of Russia. We can say that his career began with the Northern War, where he commanded various types of troops.

The construction of the temple

Now, we need to turn to the story of the church's history, since it includes a lot of events that took place during the entire existence of this church. It should be noted that the first mention of the church of the Archangel Gabriel appears in 1551. They are found in documents related to the census. By the middle of the 17th century the church was rebuilt and, due to this, it was enlarged. Later, in 1701, Alexander Menshikov organized the reconstruction and repair of the church, but after 3 years, in 1704, it was decided to demolish the church. In its place, it was planned to erect a new temple, the construction of which was performed by I.P. Zarudny. The Church of the Archangel Gabriel gradually revived. To the construction, foreign masters, including Domenico Trezzini , were also involved . By 1707 the building was finished. It should be noted that its height at that time was just over 84 meters. After a while Menshikov was appointed to the post of governor of St. Petersburg, in connection with which he ceased to deal with many Moscow projects, and the work in the temple was slowed down, or even stopped altogether.

Menshikov Tower - further history

The further fate of the temple was also quite difficult. The church was struck by lightning, in connection with which the upper part of the tower almost completely burnt down, interior interiors were destroyed, and bells fell as well. This unpleasant event happened in 1723. In this condition, the tower stood for quite a long time, but in 1773 its restoration began. She walked for several years from 1773 to 1779. For its restoration, the well-known Freemason GZ took up. Izmailov. However, the churches did not return to their original appearance, in the new version it was a different structure. Since then, the building has been used for various Masonic ceremonies. In 1863 the church was restored, on the instructions of Metropolitan Philaret. In the 30 years of the XX century it was closed. So, the history of the temple was considered, and now it is worth saying a few words about the style in which the Menshikov tower was built. This style is a real reflection of his time, so getting to know him will be very informative.

In what style is the temple built?

Thus, having got acquainted with the history, it is also necessary to find out in which style the church is built. The Menshikov Tower is a true example of the "Petrine Baroque". It is also believed that this temple is one of the earliest examples of this style preserved in Moscow. It is worthwhile to understand what are the distinctive features of this style, as well as what its feature is.

Basically this term refers to the architectural style, which was approved by Peter I. A number of examples can be seen in St. Petersburg, where this decision was actively used in the construction of buildings for various purposes. It is worth noting and the time frame - from about 1697 to 1730.

This style was mainly based on samples of German, Dutch and Swedish architecture. Petrovsky baroque can often be distinguished by some characteristic features, for example, such as simple execution of volume elements, clear lines. In this style, unlike other baroque directions, the connection with the classical Byzantine style was broken. This is a very important point, since such a tradition existed in Russian architecture for more than 700 years.

Characteristic features of the Petrine Baroque

Thus, a definition was given to this style, and its time frame was also considered. Now we should talk directly about its characteristics. One of the most important features of this trend in architecture is the coloring of buildings, which includes 2 colors, the use of high spikes, and also the planar execution of the details of the decor.

The palace and park ensembles, built in this style deserve special attention. For example, Peterhof, the Summer Garden and many other wonderful parks can be cited. Another famous example of this style is the Hermitage Palace.

Where is the temple - how to get there?

So, the history of the temple, the stages of its construction, and much more were considered. Now it's worth to talk about where he is and how to get to it. In general, Moscow's Orthodox churches are very popular both among tourists and among local residents. Of course, the Church of the Archangel Gabriel is also worth a visit.

It is located, as already mentioned above, on the Clean Ponds. This place is located in the center of Moscow, it will not be difficult to get here. It is located at: Arkhangelsk Pereulok, 15a. It is most convenient to get here from the metro station "Chistye Prudy".

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