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Church of the Life-Giving Spring Icon of the Mother of God (Moscow)

2 Dolskaya Street, Moscow (tel.: +7 495 325-34-56), in Tsaritsyno State Museum-Reserve; Metro station: "Tsaritsyno", "Orekhovo".

http://www.spring-life.ru

The church in Tsaritsyno, situated within the late-18th-century palace and park ensemble's grounds, was built long before the palace itself as a parish church of the Life-Giving Spring.

It is known that in 1633, the Chyornaya Gryaz Estate was bought by Boyar Lukyan Streshnev. In 1680, the estate was passed on to his grandson Prince Alexey Golitsyn, who made it perfectly comfortable and equipped with all necessities.

The boyars Streshnevs constructed a wooden church, which was mentioned in the Golytsyns' inventory records: "... has five domes and a roof covered with green tiles. The church is painted in three colours. There is a log wooden bell tower painted in different colours in front of the church".

In 1689, after the Tsarevna Sophia's downfall, her favourite Prince Vasily Galitsyn and his son and the Streshnevs' grandson Alexey Golitsyn fell into disgrace, and their estates were forfeited "for their faults".

In 1713, Peter the Great granted the Chyornaya Gryaz Estate to Moldavian Hospodar Dimitrie Cantemir "for his special service to homeland", who fought against the Turks. It was the famous Cantemir whose 300th anniversary was celebrated by UNESCO in 1973. He was a prominent linguist, philosopher, architect, archaeologist, musician, and mathematician, who knew several languages including Turkish and Persian, and who supervised the Peter the Great's office during the Persian Campaign.

In 1722, Cantemir replaced the wooden church with a stone one built in Petrine Baroque style. From 1759 to 1765, the Church was reconstructed by his son and heir Matvey Cantemir. The Church was used as a family's burial vault. On 30 November 1771, Prince Matvey Cantemir and later his wife Agrofena Cantemir were buried there.

In 1775, Catherine II bought the Chyornaya Gryaz Estate from the Cantemirs and renamed it Tsaritsyno. The Empress entrusted architect Vasili Bazhenov with designing and building her country residence in the purchased estate.

While designing the palace complex, Bazhenov preserved the Cantemir's church as an element of the estate ensemble.

In the late 19th century, the church was rebuilt again with contributions from A. Klementovich, an owner of one of the Tsaritsyno cottages, and donations collected from people for this purpose. A refectory was reconstructed and enlarged. A side chapel dedicated to the Our Lady of Kazan was added. A bell tower was taken to another place and additional storeys (up to the 4th tier) were built on.

The Church had functioned as a parish until 1939, when it was shut down for failing to pay the money they owed. The building was first used as a transformer vault. It the 1970s, there was a print shop. From 1975 to 1990, a joinery shop of Soyuzrestovratsiya Enterprise occupied the church's building. Its heavy woodworking machines severely damaged the building itself (the walls and the dome cracked) and wall paintings.

In 1990, the Church of the Life-Giving Spring was handed over to the believers. Archpriest Georgy Breyev was appointed dean. On 6 October, church services were resumed.

According to the Tsaritsyno Inventory Records and parishioner's recollections, there were two wooden houses where clergymen lived. One of them, situated very close to the Church, was demolished by joinery shop workers. Its foundation was used to build a brick house owned by the Church now.

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Church of the Life-Giving Spring Icon of the Mother of God



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