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The exquisitely beautiful chapel of St.Nicholas the Wondrous is located next to the Chambers of Averky Kirillov, on the left. If approaching from the waterfront the chapel is cut off by the clergy house – the red building with a divide in the centre. A pleasant little green square opens up in front of the chapel.
The Chapel of St.Nicholas the Wondrous dates from the mid-C17th and resembles some fantastical Russian palace. The facades of the building are in the so-called Russian Jewelled style. It was built in 1657 on the site of a previous chapel, as the private chapel of the statesman Averky Kirillov and next to his home. This chapel of St.Nicholas had originally been dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and only later received its present name. Moscow legend has it that Archbishop Philipp – who spoke up against the evils committed by the Secret Police, or Oprichnina - was sent to the Chapel of St.Nicholas the Wondrous during the time of Ivan the Terrible. There he was stripped of his Holy Orders, and he died at the hands of Maliuta Skuratov, the chief torturer.
Averky Kirillov - the well-known statesman, and member of the Duma, the Senate of its time- and his inheritors were generous benefactors to this chapel. Towards the end of the C17th the chapel was even connected to Kirillov's house by an underground passage, although it did not last long. In 1930 the chapel was closed-down, and for some time used as storage space. After WW2 it was turned into offices for various cultural organizations. From 1992 onwards it was restored to Divine Worship. It's interesting photograph the image of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour reflected in the windows of the clergy house, where it appears to be in C17th frames.
The historian Nikolai Karamzin dates the imprisonment of St.Phillipp, the Archbishop, at the St.Nicholas chapel as 9th November 1568. He describes in detail the way in which his gentle behaviour contrasted with the appalling treatment meted out to him by Ivan the Terrible's henchmen. “Milord, not replying a word, dismissed Phillipp with a wave of his hand. He was locked up in chains for eight days, after which he was transported to the Monastery of Old St.Nicholas, on the Moskva river embankment. There he was starved, and he tried to pray. Meanwhile Milord destroyed the holy man's family. He sent Philipp the severed head of his nephew Ivan, with a message “Behold thy beloved kinsman! Your praying didn't help him!” Fillip stood, took the head, and gave it his holy blessing.”
Historian Nikolai Karamzin's book “The History Of The Russian State” relates: “The Tsar feared the love of the common people of Moscow for the deposed Archbishop Phillipp, and heard with fury that the crowd had gathered around the St.Nicholas Monastery, talking of His Holiness's brave spirit. He therefore decided to remove the prisoner to the Tver Founding Monastery, and swiftly appointed a fresh Archbishop, Kirill - the Archimandrite of the Holy Trinity Monastery. Thus the Tsar rid himself of the strict but fairminded Holy Man – and instead unleashed his unbridled fury upon the common people who were running from the place – he slaughtered nearly half a city.”
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is a cathedral on the northern bank of the Moskva River, a few blocks southwest of the Kremlin. With an overall height of 103 metres it is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world.
The current church is the second to stand on this site. The original church, built during the 19th century, took more than 40 years to build. It was destroyed in 1931 during the Communist rule of Joseph Stalin. The demolition was supposed to make way for a colossal Palace of the Soviets that was never built, so the church was reconstructed in the 1990s on the same site.
The Cathedral is located on Volkhonka Street, which starts from Borovitskaya Square. The name of the street appeared at the end of the XVIII century when on the lands of the Volkonskis, a famous noble family was a popular tavern "Volkhonka". The street is one of the most ancient in Moscow. It was famous as a district for the rich.
This district is going to become Moscow Museum District. During the tour you will see and have the opportunity to visit a number of art museums: The Tsvetkovsky Gallery, The Ilya Glazunov Art Gallery, The Lopukhin Family Mansion (aka the Roerich Museum), Gallery of European and American Art of the C19th and C20th, The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Private Collections. While walking here you will understand why Moscow used to be accepted as a beautiful jewelry box. In the lanes you will discover old mansions and fall in love with stories of Russian noble families. Such are The Golitsyn Mansion, The Lopukhin Family Mansion, Obolonsky's Mansion, Sergey Tretyakov's Mansion etc. The Chambers of Averky Kirillov - a unique example of a large urban homestead. Chambers, Church of St. Nicholas and outbuildings along the waterfront are a single architectural complex.
Another bright example of Moscow architecture is Pertsova's Rental Apartment Mansions. The house was an apartment house, located on the corner of Soymonovsky passage and Prechistenskaya embankment, built in 1905-1907 by architects N. Zhukov and B.N. Shnaubert on sketches of the artist S.V. Malyutin, author of Russian nesting dolls. The house includes apartments and artists' studios in the upper attic of the building.