WorldWalk.info
ru ru en en de de  
Health Resorts, Hotels
Health Resorts, Hotels
Museums, Exhibitions
Museums, Exhibitions
Dolphinariums, Water Parks
Dolphinariums, Water Parks
Nature
Nature
Architecture, Monuments
Architecture, Monuments
Holy Places
Holy Places
Parks, Amusement Parks
Parks, Amusement Parks
Theatres, Cinemas
Theatres, Cinemas

Church of the Annunciation, Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Saint Petersburg)

68 7th Liniya Street, Vasilievsky Island, Saint Petersburg, Metro station: "Vasileostrovskaya".

The wooden Church of the Annunciation was built here in 1738. Many historically interesting parishioners attended the Church. Quite high-ranking government employees, officials, and military men were among them. They included Major General Pyotr Shipilev, Lieutenant General Mikhail Vakhrushev, Brigadier Ivan Maslov, Infantry Officer Artemy Shishkov, Duke Mikhail Shchetinin, Head Secretary of the Senate Pavel Severgin, Secretaries of the Senate Alexey Fyodorov and Yermolay Tishin, Secretaries of the Military Collegium Stefan Tarasov and Dmitry Muranov, Secretary of the Auditing Collegium Andrey Ivanov, Clerk Ivan Postnikov, Executor of the Synod Stefan Tarasov, Clerk of the Chamber Office Spiridon Zubkov, and merchant Anton Mikhailov. The Church of the Annunciation was also a parish of the Academy of Sciences. Professor of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, famous poet and the first Russian philologist Vasily Trediakovsky attended the Church. In 1753, Mikhail Lomonosov was a Church's parishioner too. There was a cemetery in the Church where many scientists including the inventor of a lathe Andrey Nartov, a geographer and explorer of the Kamchatka Peninsula Stepan Krasheninnikov, and many others are buried.

In 1750, construction of a new two-storey stone church began. The construction of both, the wooden and later the stone Churches of the Annunciation, was initiated and supervised by a St. Petersburg merchant, owner of bars, taverns and brew houses in Vasilievsky Island, Irodion Chirkin. The Church was consecrated in 1762.

The Church of the Annunciation is one of the most peculiar buildings of Vasilievsky Island as regards architecture and urban planning. The modestly decorated, high five-dome church with an individual dome above an altar and a three-storey bell tower is quite uncommon for St. Petersburg architecture. Its appearance resembles rather Moscow churches.

The Church is a cross-shaped three-storey building crowned by onion domes. It is the biggest church in St. Petersburg by the number of altars (seven of them). The Church is a unique monument of the 18th-century Russian architecture; it combines elements of different styles. Its architecture features traits of the 18th- and early 19th-century pre-Petrine and Russian conservative, small-town construction. Classical features and early St. Petersburg baroque interwine in the Church's appearance with much elegance. However, the Church has no traces of the Elizabeth-time baroque, when the Church was erected. Although the designer is considered to be unknown, we can be almost absolutely sure about his name if based on the existing archival date. It was Carlo Giuseppe Trezzini, a nephew of the famous Domenico Trezzini who constructed many buildings in St. Petersburg within 20 years.

On 24 May 1750, the foundation stone was laid. The stone church was constructed without any hurry, since the wooden church still functioned.

On 15 September 1762, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk consecrated the altar and dedicated it to Saint Martyrs Cyrus and John. It was arranged in the southern side chapel of the Church's lower floor.

On 15 August 1763, a side chapel, situated in the gallery of the upper church, was consecrated and dedicated to the Conception of St. John the Baptist.

On 2 September 1763, the northern side chapel was dedicated to the Intercession of the Theotokos.

On 7 September 1763, the high altar was consecrated and dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. By 1763, the wooden church was disassembled. The altar point was marked with a cross fenced in.

On 13 September 1772, the main side chapel of the upper church was consecrated and dedicated to the Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem.

Construction of the bell tower was finished a bit later, by 1780. The Church's bell tower is the highest one in Vasilievsky Island. It is 42 metres (138 feet) high, and the cross, 4 metres (13 feet).

In the 1790s, the Church was enlarged. An open bypass gallery, which soon became close, was added to the altar side of the Church. This made the altar more spacious and comfortable for church services. Thus, the former facade wall appeared to be inside the gallery. The present altar preserved an icon-case, which was formerly external, as a niche. After construction works were finished in 1796, the high altar of the Church was consecrated again and dedicated to the Exaltation of the Honourable and Life-giving Cross. Works on improving the Church were continued. Side chapels of the ground floor were built over. The left one was consecrated and dedicated to the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The right side chapel, to SS. Cyrus and John, later renamed St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. By efforts of Court Counsellor I. Sharapov, two side chapels were made in the upper church, on both sides of the high altar. The southern one was dedicated to St. Prophet Elijah; the northern, to the Intercession of the Theotokos. They were consecrated on 19 August 1806 by Metropolitan Ambrose. The Sanctuary consisted of two churches, the lower (heated) one and the upper double-height (cold) one. Also, a small third church was situated on the second floor. In the side chapel of the Conception, there was a wonderful, blue with gold, carved icon stand created in the mid-18th century. Today, it is kept in the Trinity Church in Nevsky District. Its beauty was supplemented by artistically painted vaults and walls.

By 1843, new icon stands of the lower church were constructed. In the mid-19 century, the Church became a minister of the Novo-Dyevitchiy Convent of the Resurrection located nearby. Later, in 1854, the Convent moved to another specially built building in Moskovsky Avenue. The Church was returned to the parishioners.

The Church of the Annunciation was one of most visited churches in St. Petersburg. In the second half of the 19th century, the Annunciation Charity Mission functioned in the Church. The Mission established three institutions in a new building: inexpensive flats, an alms-house, and an orphan asylum. Later, the asylum set up its own school.

In 1885, a warehouse of religious and moral literature was arranged in the Church, and a parish library was opened.

In 1900, the 150th anniversary of the Church was celebrated. In 1911, the Charity Mission appointed a committee to repair the Church under the supervision of an architect and artist M. Yeremeyev. The Church was reroofed; the crosses were polished. Inside the Church, the floor was repaired; the walls and ceilings decorated with images of saints in all three altars were painted. All three icons stands were covered with church gold again; the icons hanging on the walls were cleaned; the candelabra and oil lamps were silver plated. Electric wiring of the lower church was renewed.

The most honourable sacred objects of the Church included the Cross with fragments of the Holy Cross, a stone fragment of the Holy Sepulchre, and 18 relics of Saints; another Cross on the Icon of the Annunciation with six relics of Saints, and the Icon of Our Saviour on the outer altar wall of the Church. Our Lady of the Sign, identical to the icon kept in Novgorod, was remarkable for its proficient painting of ancient style. The inscription evidenced that it was painted on 5 September 1706. The Assumption of the Virgin Icon in a silver plated case had an inscription: "The miracle-working icon of the Assumption of the Virgin that is kept in Kiev Pechersk Lavra above the holy doors." 22 February 1762. The Theotokos of Tikhvin, that was moved to the upper church for summer time, and the icon of St. Kharlampy, whose day was celebrated on 10 February and coincided with the Peter III's birthday.

In 1922, the building was qualified as an architecture monument of the Elizabeth time and was tightly preserved. In the same year, the church valuables were confiscated. Several icon rizas and holly vessels were seized. The Museum Commission decided to hand over these "objects" to the State Hermitage Museum. Later, in 1923 and 1924, the Church was plundered again.

By March of 1925, the Church was repaired. In 1926, the Church was listed as a scheduled monument of the Rastrelli's school. In 1935, the Church was shut down. Since August 1936, the building was occupied by the Experimental Design Bureau of the All-Union Society of Exact Industry, soon renamed the Leningrad Department of the Design Bureau of the 10th Central Office of the People's Commissariat of Aviation Industry. The contract between the Department for Protection of Monuments and the Design Bureau was valid from 1 March 1938 to 1 March 1958. Dark days came to the Church. The Church's ground floor was gradually filled with infrastructure facilities: a heating plant, shower and toilet rooms in the side chapel dedicated to the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, a switchboard room, a water distributing point in the central altar. The floor was covered with asphalt; concrete pads were made to place machinery there. Huge fittings were cut into outer walls to arrange lifts and metal steps. On the first floor, the central dome was covered with two levels of ceilings. The Church's space was divided into many offices. A computer centre was arranged in the central altar.

In 1939, a plant management building was constructed in the Church's area. It closed the Church from the 8th Liniya Street and broke the whole ensemble of the Church of the Annunciation, the public garden and former church buildings. The Church was fenced in. In autumn 1941, it was decided to dismantle all five domes because of bombardments becoming more frequent. However, only the central dome was disassembled in accordance with this instruction.

The Church itself suffered great damage from shell hits. The windows were broken; the cornice of the north-east building's corner was destroyed; one of the inner main walls fractured. As late as in 1952, the central dome was restored. However, the renter, management of Sevzapmontazhavtomatika Trust, continued to destroy the Church's interior. In October 1950, the floor of the upper church was covered with timber, and flutes were made in the painted walls. It was reported on 12 October 1950 that "the paintings may date back to the second half of the 19th century and their quality is of no artistic significance".

In September 1992, Metropolitan John of St. Petersburg and Ladoga applied to the authorities with a request to hand over the Church's building to St. Petersburg Diocese. It was decided to turn over the first and the second floors of the Church after 3 December 1992. The lower church was handed over to the parish on 24 October 1994.

According to the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 20 February 1995, the Church's building was awarded the status of an architecture monument of republican importance. In 1994 to 1996, the Church's domes were crowned with all crosses lost in the old days.

In 1998, the central side chapel of the Exaltation of the Cross, situated on the first floor, was reconstructed. On 26 September, the side chapel and the whole first floor were consecrated. During the restoration works of 1998, large fragments of paintings were discovered on almost all walls of the Church. They depicted scenes of the Bible and holy days. The late-academic manner of painting included features of the Russian Revival style; geometrical and flower designs were made in the same style. The experts say that the quality is highly professional. The paintings are in very good condition and date back to the mid-19th century. It is supposed that the author was Academician Roman Vinogradov, the artist famous for his church wall paintings. Nothing of the former magnificence of the Church's decorations survived till our days. However, according to archival data it is obvious that during the "destruction" process all church valuables were handed over to the State Hermitage Museum.

An icon-painting workshop is held in the Church. Most of the new Church's icons were painted there. However, ancient, prayerful icons are also kept in the Church. One of the most honourable of them is the icon of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.

Image Gallery Image Preview (7)

Church of the Annunciation, Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary



info@worldwalk.infoinfo@worldwalk.info