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Evangelical Lutheran Church (Pushkin)

4 Naberezhnaya Street, Pushkin, tel.: +7 812 470-77-63, +7 812 466-62-24.

http://www.pushkin.elci.ru

The Lutheran Parish in Tsarskoye Selo is considered to be founded in 1811. However it was allowed to start construction works in 1817 only. The construction was initiated by Lyceum principle Yegor Engelhardt and Lyceum pastor Christian Gnichtel. Emperor Alexander I gave them his imperial consent and granted 20,000 roubles for this purpose. In 1817, the Tsar approved a facade design and a building plan.

The first building of the Evangelical Church of the Transfiguration was made of wood. It was built by February 1818 and replaced Hussars' barracks. It is known what the Church's facade looked like, since a drawing of it made by a Lyceum student Valerian Langer in 1819 was used in a lithograph, which has survived until our days.

It was an Empire building, the main facade of which architecturally looked like an antique Antae Temple. The facade had a three-column portico framed by outwalls; it was crowned by a full entablature and a frieze with metopes and triglyphs and completed with a triangle pediment.

In 1822, the portico was reconstructed under the supervision of architect Vasily Stasov. Four wooden fluted columns (instead of three) seven arshins (approx. 5 m or 16.5 ft) high were made. The porch was remodelled. In May 1822, the architect Stasov issued an invoice for payment. The fact that the portico was reconstructed indicates that the original design was imperfect, and it is doubtful that Stasov was its author.

First, the Lyceum pastor held services in the Church. When the Lyceum was moved to St. Petersburg in 1843, the Church fell under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Within the Church's area, a primary school was built, which was supervised by the Ministry of Home Affairs, but financed by the Church. Children of German settlers of Friedental Colony, which was established in Tsarskoye Selo in 1817, mainly studied in the school.

Since 1852, the church services were held in Lettish and Estonian in addition to German.

In 1857, architect Alexander Nikitin designed a heated tambour to be added to the Church. The annexe was allowed by Zakharzhevsky.

In 1865, the Church got its present appearance designed by Alexander Vidov. According to a reviewer of Russian Evangelical Lutheran churches, Velichkovsky, the design was approved by Emperor as early as 1860, but construction was completed in 1865 only. Velichkovsky also added that on 14 August 1860, a new church was founded near the old one. Construction became more active in 1864, when Alexander II donated his own 7,000 roubles to finish the building. The Church was completed in a year and consecrated on 17 April 1865, the Emperor's birthday.

In 1905, a Lettish community appeared in Tsarskoye Selo.

It is known, that in 1920, the Parish owned preachers' flats, four wooden houses, and securities in the value of 86,500 roubles.

In 1930, the Church's ground floor was converted into a hostel for workers. In 1931, the Soviet Government decided to shut down the Church and hand over the first floor to repair and engineering works, which used it as a cafeteria and a common room.

Then, until the 1970s, the building was occupied by a driving school. The ground floor was used as an auto repair shop. Some of the windows were bricked up. The window, looking on the yard, was transformed into gates.

A process for returning the Church to the believers was initiated in 1963, when a group of people started a signature campaign for reactivation of the Church. Numerous negotiations with the Government continued until it was decided for the Church.

In 1977, the Finnish Evangelical Community initiated restoration and architectural measurement of the facades supervised by architect M. Tolstov. Brickwork damages, caused by wind and mechanical failure, were repaired with specially selected bricks and pigmented finishing mortar. The facade was cleaned. An entrance porch was reconstructed. Tent decoration elements were temporarily repaired, and a cross was mounted. Interior partitions, made during the Soviet time, were broken. A staircase and pylon stucco work were restored. Walls were plastered and painted. Mouldings were whitewashed. The bricked up windows were opened, and the gates were transformed back into a window. The building was equipped with heating system, water supply system, sewage, electricity, and illumination. The repair works were done without scaffolding. The area, facing Srednyaya Street and Lower Stables, was rounded with a metal fence. Original fence upon stone foundation from the side of the Embankment was reconstructed in accordance with remained fragments. A new fence was built near the corner house.

The key engineering characteristics: the facade including the tent is 32.31 meters (106 ft) high; the hight to the tower base is 17.55 meters (57.5 ft); the area of the basement is 275 sq. meters (2,960 sq. ft); the area of the ground floor is 313.2 sq. meters (3,371 sq. ft); the gross site area is 906 sq. meters (9,752 sq. ft). A plinth is faced with limestone. The porch steps are made of granite blocks. The facade is bricked. Cornices and window slopes are plastered. The foundation is rubble. A stone stairway has tiled steps, while a metal one, leading to the gallery, has wooden steps and rails.

That same year (1977), the Church was given to the Finnish Community, consecrated and devoted to the Resurrection of Christ. Church services were held in Finnish. Since 1 May 1988, the services were also held in Russian and German since 23 October 1988.

Today, the Parish is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria and holds services in Finnish and Russian.

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Evangelical Lutheran Church



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