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The small wooden church in the depth of the square in the direction of the river embankment is the Church Of The Ikon of the Virgin Sovereign.
A granite stone was set up here in the 1990s - before the cathedral had been rebuilt – with the inscription “The Foundation Stone of the Church of the Sovereign Mother Of God – forerunner of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, which will be rebuilt on this sacred spot”. Within five years the wooden gabled church of the Ikon Of The Virgin Sovereign had indeed been put up here. Services and prayers were held regularly. They especially prayed for the rebuilding of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and for its builders and its contributing donors. There's an old Russian saying which goes “every good deed begins and ends with prayer”.
Today the Chapel of the Church guards a revered likeness of the Ikon of the Virgin Sovereign. This ikon is revered throughout Russia, and has a special significance connected with the day on which Tsar Nicholas II abjured his reign. A month before that event a peasant-girl had a dream in which she was required to go to Kolomenskoe and find 'a blackened ikon, which must be made red', and pray to it. The ikon was found in the very place in Kolomenskoe which the dream had revealed, in the basement of the Ascension Church. It had become blackened with age. When it was cleaned, it revealed the image of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms, but accompanied by the medieval symbols of power – a crown, scepter and orb. Thus it became known as the “Sovereign” ikon.
The news of the ikon's discovery – and its wonder-working properties - spread throughout the whole of Russia. Hundreds of pilgrims descended on Kolomenskoe. Soon afterwards the ikon was placed in the collections of the State History Museum, but believers feared it had been lost once again. The ikon was only returned to believes in 1990. It is now once again at Kolomenskoe, although now in the Kazansky Church. Here in the Church we see a likeness of the Holy Ikon of the Virgin Sovereign.
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.