The Church of the Intercession in Fili was erected in the beginning of 1690 on the territory of the country estate of Boyar LK Naryshkin. The temple consists of two parts. The first of them - the Church of the Intercession is considered the lower church, and the second - the Savior of the Holy Face - is called the upper church. This beautiful temple was recognized as a masterpiece of the unique Naryshkin style. This monument of architecture dates back to the Early Petrine period. The Church of the Savior of the Holy Face looks the same as in the construction. Its unique interiors with the icons of Cyril Ulanova and Karp Zolotarev miraculously survived and have survived to the present day.
The very first church with a chapel of the Conception of St. Anne, built in Fili, was wooden. There are documents in which it is written that the church was erected in 1619. At that time these lands belonged to Prince Mstislavsky. It is interesting that the Church of the Intercession in Fili appeared due to an important event connected with the Time of Troubles. In the fall of 1618, Hetman Sagaidachny together with Polish Prince Vladislav tried to storm the walls of Moscow by storm. Russian troops managed to repel all attacks of the enemy. This great event became the end of the Troubles and ruin of the Moscow State.
Defenders of the city saw in this some special patronage of the Virgin. And in honor of her decided to build several churches. These are the Intercession churches in Medvedkovo, Rubtsov, Fili and Izmailovo.
Construction of the estate
In 1689, the land on which the village of Fili was located was transferred to the boyar Naryshkin, Lev Kirillovich. He was the uncle of Tsar Peter I. The new master immediately began to equip his new possessions. At the very beginning he built a solid house with a tower and a clock on it, then various farm buildings: malt house, stable and cattle yard. The estate had a large orchard and a beautiful park with terraces. In addition, there were also several cascading ponds made using the latest technologies of that time.
But the most important construction, which Naryshkin dealt with, was the church in Fili. The legend says that her construction history is closely connected with the events that occurred during the Streletsky rebellion in 1682. Then the archers killed Naryshkin's older brothers - Afanasy and Ivan. The younger, Leo Kirillovich, miraculously managed to escape. Then he swore that if he survived, he would erect a temple in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos and in memory of his dead brothers.
Seven years have passed since his rescue. Having received new lands, he did not forget his promise. Naryshkin laid a new stone church of the Intercession of the Virgin.
As is known, the Pokrovskaya church was already on the territory of the manor, therefore, in honor of this holy holiday, the lower (winter) church was consecrated. It should be noted that the exact date of construction is unknown, since all documents were burnt in the fire in 1712. The Church of the Intercession in Fili, whose style was ideal for a house church, had a presentable, solemn and elegant appearance. The luxury of Naryshkin's construction was to show the nobility, fertility and wealth of its owner, as well as all the virtues that were inherent in it.
I must say that the bright and original style that emerged at the turn of the XVII-XVIII centuries and subsequently became the leading Russian architectural art, was named Naryshkin because of the temple of the Filly.
Such buildings were very expensive, so only the richest nobles could afford to erect them. It is worth noting that the name of the style is rather arbitrary. Yes, the Church of the Intercession in Fili is largely related to this fact, but other architectural monuments built by representatives of the Naryshkin family were also built in addition to it.
Decoration of the temple
Since the family of the owner of the manor was the closest to the royal house, the glorification of the dynasty of Tsar Peter I could not but affect both the external and internal decoration of the church itself. The most striking proof of this is the crosses located on the eastern and western sides of the temple. They are crowned with two-headed eagles - a symbol of statehood, and a small balcony on the west side is called the royal box.
All this became possible due to the fact that the Naryshkins personally participated in the decoration of the new stone church. In addition, Tsar Peter I also put his hand to this. By his order, he allocated from the treasury for the decoration of the church 4 hundred gold coins of gold. As the legend says, the Tsar himself sometimes came to Fili, but never took up the box, but was in the choir, where the singers sang.
In 1705 the Church of the Intercession of the Virgin in Fili was decorated with beautiful trophy stained-glass windows with colored glass. They were brought by Naryshkin himself from Narva, conquered by Peter I. They showed images of plant ornaments, scenes from biblical life, as well as ornate chivalric arms.
For more than three centuries of existence, the appearance of the Filev church has been repeatedly changed. In the archives were found unique drawings of this architectural monument, dated the end of the XVIII century. Thanks to them, it was found out that the staircases originally built were altered during the restoration work carried out in the church under the direction of Kazakov MF. But in the upper church the sills made of artificial marble were preserved in their original form.
Influence of wars
The Patriotic War of 1812 proved destructive for the church. He was ruthlessly plundered by French soldiers. Also great damage was brought with them and the Great Patriotic War. For sure many people saw photos of churches and temples destroyed by bombing.
Restoration work was very slow and with interruptions for 25 years (1955-1980). The great contribution to the rescue of the unique monument was made by architects Ilenko IV and Mikhailovsky E.V.
The first thing we did was to restore the facade of the building. The chapters and crosses, white-stone covering and decoration were restored. It can be said that it was on this church that the technique was developed, after which all architectural structures of the Naryshkin style were subsequently restored.
Until now, no one knows what color the walls of the building originally had. It is a pity that at that time it was still impossible to make photos of churches and temples. And now it remains only to guess. It can be assumed that the walls could be the same as those of the Trinity Church located in the Trinity Lykov. It was built at the same time as the Church of the Intercession in Fili, the younger brother of Lev Kirillovich Naryshkin-Martemyan. The walls in this temple are painted with an aspid, imitating marble. The very first of the paintings that was found on the Filev church, refers to the XVIII century. Then she had a blue-blue color.
The next stage of restoration work began in the early 70-ies of the last century. The temple was transferred to the Central Museum, which specialized in ancient Russian art. Now the main goal was to recreate the interior. In the Church of the Intercession there was no original furniture, therefore it was necessary to restore the decor of the XVIII-XIX centuries from scratch.
Works were conducted not only in the lower, but also in the upper church. Most of the effort was spent on restoring the unique carvings that adorned the iconostasis, as well as the choir, kiot and the royal box.
At first, the interiors of the lower and upper church were not painted. The only exception was the arch of the Spassky temple. There, they restored the painting depicting the New Testament Trinity with nine angels. And in the upper church was left a later painting, dated XIX century.
Thanks to the painstaking and many years of hard work of many restorers and architects, the church has found a second life. They managed to preserve a truly magnificent monument of Naryshkin style and recreate the original appearance of the temple.