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The large yellow church leaves little room on the pavement. The rotunda sticks out in the way of passing pedestrians. Across the road there's a yellow building behind Empire-style railings with a six-columned portico, and liberally decorated with stucco-work.
The Church of the Ikon “the Joy of All Who Suffer” is a magnificent example of Russian late classicism. It checks all the boxes – graceful Ionic porticos, a broad frieze, and semicircular windows. During the regency of Sophia Alexandrovna (1682-1689) the “sharpshooters” who supported her attempt to seize the throne contributed to having a stone church built here. A century later the ikon called “The Joy Of All Those Who Suffer” was venerated at the church. After the devastation following Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in 1812, the church was extensively rebuilt by Osip Bové. Bové tried to retain as much of the former building as he could. He painstakingly drew out a floorplan of the cast-iron floor tiles of the interior. The ikon of St Nicholas in the ikonostasis is the work of famous portraitist Vladimir Borovikovsky.
The interiors of The Church of the Ikon “the Joy of All Who Suffer preserve their original stucco and grisaille. Grisaille is a kind of monochrome fresco, executed in shades of grey, which imitates bas-relief sculpture. The white-and-gold ikonostasis and cast-iron floor-tiles are restoration work by Osip Bové. The ikon called “The Joy Of All Who Suffer” can be found to the left of the main doorway on a raised platform and surrounded by two half-spiral staircases. The church was used to store paintings from the Tretyakov Gallery during the time of WW2.
Like most churches in Moscow, the Church of the Ikon “the Joy of All Who Suffer” was closed during the 1930s by the Bolshevik Government. The bell-tower was desecrated and then destroyed, but the church interiors were left intact. The Church was made a store-room of the Tretyakov Gallery, but the museum staff did everything possible to preserve the church building and its decoration. As such it was one of the first churches to reopen after the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate – in 1948. Even during that time the veneration of the Holy Ikon was observed with great solemnity – on 6th November “New Style”, in other words the date which should have been 24th October, had it not been for the calendar reforms. Likewise each Sunday evening was marked by prayers and the recitation of the Akathist – the hymn of veneration.
The choir of the Church of the Icon Of All Who Suffer was led by Matveev in the mid-C20th – the most respected choirmaster in the whole of Russia at the time. By the 1960s the Moscow Patriarch was releasing vinyl records of devotional music by the choir. The famous choir made the church a first choice for celebrations of anniversaries of well-known figures. For example, the anniversary of Rachmaninoff's death (March 28th) was marked by performances of his setting of the Holy Vespers, while Tchaikovsky's anniversary gave occasion for the performance of his setting of the Liturgy. In 1961 important people living in the area's elite housing apartment petitioned to have the church bells silenced - since they were disturbed at home by the ringing. The bells were taken down, and moved inside the church instead.
The territories of historical district Zamoskvorechye lie on the right (southern) bank of the Moskva River. They joined Moscow in the 14th century when Russian lands used to suffer from the Golden Horde raids. The settlers mainly were soldiers, handicraftsmen and merchants. Their life was organized in a patchwork sloboda system. In 1591-1592 during the reign of Feodor I the fortified wall on the site of the present-day Garden Ring was built. Even now, one can easily understand from the street names what occupation the residents had centuries ago. For example, royal garden attendants (садовники, sadovniki) settled in the beginning of present-day Sadovnicheskaya Street from 1495 until the fire of 1701; tanners specializing in sheepskin (oвчинники, ovchinniki) gave their name to Ovchinnikovsky Lanes; royal mint workers (монетчики, monetchiki) – to Monetchikovsky Lanes, Court translators (толмачи, tolmachi) to Tolmachevsky Lanes. Bolshaya Ordynka Street was named after Orda, was the road to the Golden Horde, and was initially home to the Tatar community.
During our tour we are going to tell you about famous historic buildings in Pyatnitskaya Street, the main walking street of the district. We will walk around the State Tretyakov Gallery and listen to the story about the Tretyakovs, famous Russian businessmen, collectors and patrons of art, and the history of their collection and Gallery building.
There is also the house and museum of another famous Russian businessman and patron of art - Bakhrushin museum of theater, built in 1896.
Famous Russian writer Alexander Ostrovsky also lived in Zamoskvorechye, in Malaya Ordynka street. If you like his works you can visit his house-museum.
Zamoskvorechye is famous for its churches: Church of St. Sophia Of God's Wisdom on Gardener's Island and its belfry, Church of St. George the Victorious in Endova, The Church of the Ikon “the Joy of All Who Suffer”, The Church of St Nicholas at Pyzhakh, etc. Each of them has its own history and mystery.
With Your Audio Guide you will go through all the streets and lanes, get familiar with some interesting yards, explore the legends and myths and find out the truth. You will relax on the benches of Bolotnaya square; take pictures of the Kremlin domes, Giant Peter the Great statue, river embankments, learn about the former Mamontov Hotel and super deluxe Balchug-Kempinsky.