Spiritual developmentChristianity

The Church of the Three Saints on Kulishki, Moscow

One of the unique examples of ancient Russian church architecture is a monument of the 17th century - the temple of the Three Saints in Kulishki (photo is given in the article), erected in honor of outstanding theologians and preachers of Christianity of Saint Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian. His parish, located in the Basmanny administrative district of the capital, is part of the Epiphany Deanery of the Moscow diocese.

Princely Chambers on Kulishki

For lovers of antiquity is of interest not only the temple complex, but also the area near the confluence of the Moskva River and Yauza, on which it is located. From the history of the capital it is known that once the given region and the hill on it were called Kulishi or Kulishkas. Explaining the origin of this name, linguists usually refer to the old Russian word, consonant with it, denoting the forest site after the felling.

As this area was located near the central part of the city, its construction began quite early. It is known that already in the XV century there appeared the summer residence of the Grand Duke of Moscow Vasily I and the house church erected at her, consecrated in honor of the baptizer of Russia, St. Prince Vladimir. It became the predecessor of the current St. Vladimir's Church in Starosadsky Lane. Since the stables were also located there, the church was soon erected in the name of St. Flor and Lavr, who were considered patrons of horses among the people.

The First Church of the Three Saints

According to the tradition that has developed since the time of the baptism of Rus, the church hierarchs have always kept close to the earthly rulers. Here and in those ancient times the Moscow metropolitan considered it good to build his residence near the prince's palace with a church erected on the site of the present temple of the Three Saints on Kulishki and received the same name. Of course, in those years the doors of the princely and metropolitan house church were open only to the highest spiritual and secular persons of the state.

New church on Ivanovskaya Hill

In the XVI century the picture changed. Grand Duke Vasily III moved to the new mansions, built for him in the village of Rubtsovo-Pokrovsky, the metropolitan who ruled there also rushed there. The remaining house churches became parochial, accessible to worshipers of all social strata, the influx of which at that time was constantly increasing due to the active settlement of the territory, which after the establishment of the monastery in honor of John the Baptist began to be called Ivanovskaya Hill.

The documents that have survived show that the Temple of the Three Saints in Kulishki was built under the sovereign Alexei Mikhailovich in the period between 1670 and 1674. The necessary funds for this were collected thanks to voluntary donations from parishioners, including many well-off people, such as the representatives of the highest nobility - the princes Shuiskys, Glebovs and Akinfievs.

Creation of an unknown architect

History did not save the descendants of the name of the architect who became the author of the project of this remarkable and innovative for its time constructions, but remained drawings and drawings ─ evidence of his creative thought. In the lower floor of a spacious two-storeyed temple were built warm (heated in winter) chapels ─ Floroslavsky and Trehsvyatitelsky. Above them was a summer, unheated church of the Holy Life-Giving Trinity.

Contrary to tradition, the bell tower was built not on the center line of the building, but moved it to the corner. The tall and slender temple of the Three Saints in Kulishki, whose facades were skillfully decorated with portals and platbands, looked like a harmonious completion of the whole complex of structures located on the Ivanovskaya Hill.

Restructuring of the temple in the next century

In the second half of the 18th century, the Ivanovskaya Gorka area became one of the most prestigious districts of Moscow and was populated mainly by representatives of the highest nobility, which contributed to the well-being and prosperity of the temples built there. Suffice it to say that the priests of Volkonsk, Lopukhins, Melgunovs, Counts Tolstye, Osterman and many other courtiers were among the parishioners of the Three-Sainted Church (as the temple of the Three Saints was called in the people).

Thanks to the generosity of these eminent dignitaries, in the 1770s the building of the temple was rebuilt and acquired a classic look. However, in order to achieve the desired effect, the builders had to sacrifice much of what was the originality of his former appearance. In particular, the former tent bell tower located in the corner part of the building was dismantled, and a new one was built on the western side, more in line with the spirit of the times. In addition, they destroyed the molded decor of the facades and cut through them new windows.

The ruin of the temple in 1812

Incredible disasters brought the temple of the Three Saints on the Kulishki events of 1812. In the fire of the fire that engulfed Moscow, many palaces, mansions, and also dwellings of ordinary people surrounding it were destroyed. And although the damage to the building was insignificant ─ only a small part of the roof was burned, everything that was in it was mercilessly plundered, and that it was not possible to endure ─ it was destroyed. Thus, the thrones and old antimins that were on them were irretrievably lost-silk boards with sidewalks of orthodox saints sewn into them.

The shape of the temple in the XIX century

After the expulsion of the invaders, the Three-Sainted Church was consecrated anew, and several years later, announcing the subscription among the parishioners, completely restored its interior decoration. In parallel with this, the facades were reconstructed, giving them the features of a fashionable Empire style at that time. Over the next decades of the XIX century, the building of the temple was repeatedly rebuilt and renovated, which left its imprint on its appearance.

By the middle of the century, the appearance of the whole Ivanovskaya Hill was significantly changed. From a secluded aristocratic district it turned into a densely populated part of the city. Accordingly, residents of the nearby streets also changed. If formerly they consisted exclusively of representatives of the wealthy strata of society, then now the neighbors of the Three-Sainted Church were ordinary townsfolk, among whom the patrons of the notorious Khitrov market with its countless dens and doss-houses (the photo is shown above) stood out.

Closure and ruin of the temple

The coup d'état of 1917 was the beginning of the many evils that took place in the Temple of the Three Saints on Kulishki in Moscow. During the first ten years of the new regime, he continued to operate, but found himself in a very gloomy environment. The police station that was next to him was turned into a prison, and a concentration camp was set up in the walls of the Ioannovsky Monastery.

Finally, in 1927, the prison administration demanded the closure of the church, and, despite the protests of the parishioners, he ceased his activities. All the interior decoration and church utensils, which were of historical and artistic value, were removed and disappeared without a trace. Among them was the unique icon of the 16th century, The Enlightenment of the Oeches, which was very revered and survived during the Napoleonic invasion.

In the Soviet period, the temple's undisturbed dome and bell tower was used for various city needs. At one time it housed the NKVD hospital, then it was replaced by a hostel, replaced by a warehouse, which was later replaced by various offices. Finally, in 1987, his tenant was the animated studio "Pilot".

Revival of a desecrated shrine

The Church of the Three Saints in Kulishki (address: Moscow, Malyi Trehsvyatitelsky per., 4/6) was returned to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church in June 1992, but for four more years it still housed multipliers that did not have That moment of another room. Thus, the first Liturgy was served only in 1996. This significant event took place in the upper church and was timed to July 6, the day of the celebration of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God.

For the resumption of regular worship services, the temple, which was used for many years in economic needs and disfigured by numerous rebuildings, should be brought to the proper view. This required a lot of time and large investments, which were achieved thanks to the assistance of a number of government agencies and private organizations. A significant role in this was played by voluntary donations of Muscovites who wanted to help restore the church of the Three Saints in Kulishki.

Schedule of services

In 2003, we finally managed to make the first divine service in the lower room of the church, but after that it took another 7 years of restoration and restoration work, before the great consecration took place in February 2010, and among the other sacred places of the capital the Temple of the Three Saints on Kulishki.

The schedule of church services, which appeared on its doors and testifies to the revival of this once-damaged shrine, is in general similar to the schedule of the works of most of the capital's churches. Depending on the days of the week, as well as those or other holidays, the morning services start at 8:00 or at 9:00, evening evenings are held from 17:00.

This is only general information, since the annual circle of worship is very extensive, and the schedule can vary. For information regarding a particular date, you should visit the parish website or contact the temple directly.

New life of the ancient temple

Today the church, reborn from nonexistence, bearing the name of the three greatest pillars of the Christian faith of Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian, as in the old years, is one of the leading spiritual centers of Moscow. The dissemination of knowledge necessary for every Orthodox Christian is a priority activity of the whole clergy of the Three Saints Church in Kulishki. The Sunday school, where classes are designed not only for children, but also for adult parishioners, helps to fill the gap of religious culture that arose in the population during the years of domination of total atheism.

At the same time, much attention is paid to the historical and cultural significance that the Three Saints' temple on Kulishki has. Excursions, regularly organized by various travel agencies with the assistance of the rector of the church of Archpriest Father Vladislav (Sveshnikov), help not only see this pearl of church architecture, but also learn about its history in detail.

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