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Church of St. Simeon Stylites beyond the Yauza River (Moscow)

10 Nikoloyamskaya Street, Moscow (tel.: +7 495 915-37-00, +7 495 915-53-22), Metro station: "Taganskaya", "Marksistskaya", "Kurskaya", "Chkalovskaya", "Kitay-Gorod".

Map

The history of the Church of St. Simeon Stylites began over four hundred years ago, in 1598, when Tsar Boris Godunov, who had just ascended to the throne, ordered the construction of a church in the name of St. Simeon, the founder of the stylite (or pillar-saint) movement.

In the 17th century, the wooden church was replaced with a stone one, which was subsequently rebuilt and expanded many times. In 1812, during Napoleon's invasion, the Church burned to the ground, together with its plate, ornaments and invaluable icons. However, as early as 1813, it was rebuilt anew. The famous architect Nikolay Chichagov was involved in constructing and decorating the Church. In 1847, a new icon-stand was made to his design. By 1851, he had also created icon-stands for the side-chapels. And it was Metropolitan Philaret himself, later canonised, who consecrated the new church in 1847.

Half a century later, Russia entered into difficult times: the First World War, followed by the 1917 Russian Revolution. In 1929, the editorial office of the "Rabochaya Moskva" newspaper received a letter from a group of patients from the Yauzskaya Hospital situated nearby. In that letter, the workers requested to shut down the Church, because, according to them, its services hindered the recovery of working people. After that, the Church building was let out to a great number of various organisations. Its new owners destroyed the bell tower, crudely widened the windows, disfigured the Church's interior space with additional ceilings. The new "masters of life" used the former churchyard not only for utility purposes: during a redesign of the Church, the human remains of people executed by the secret police were discovered.

However, time has rectified everything. In 1995, on Christmas, services were restarted in the Church. There was no money left to continue the restoration that had been started; for this reason, Father Aleksandr (Ryabtsev) together with the parishioners began reconstructing the Church's former beauty by their own efforts and supported by their own prayer. There are good people in this world: people started flocking here to help with this God-pleasing project. Now, a Sunday school, icon-painting workshops and restoration workshops are open at the Church.

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Church of St. Simeon Stylites beyond the Yauza River



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