The Temples Of Kharkov
Many beautiful churches of Kharkiv did not survive to our days. The first wooden churches were destroyed by relentless time and the fires, but many more churches destroyed by the Bolsheviks.
First in Kharkov was built in 1657, a wooden Church of the Dormition of the virgin, placed in the fortress a little South of the modern building of the assumption Cathedral. The Church was small, and instead of icons, the townspeople prayed to paper posters of the saints. The first Kharkiv priest called Eralise. First came the priest in Kharkiv together with immigrants from the Dnieper.
Together with the increase in the number of residents of Kharkov have a question about building a new, larger Church. In 1687 on the site of the modern Cathedral of the assumption, was built the city’s first stone Church. However, the new temple was not destined to stay for long. In 1733 March 3 in the city broke out in a strong fire, and as a result, the Church has survived only stone walls. Although after a year the Church was again rebuilt, in the building soon cracks appeared. In 1771, the old Church was dismantled, and 12 years later, at this place, was completed the construction of a new Cathedral. In it were four thrones. However, the main attraction of the assumption Cathedral was Alexander bell tower was built to commemorate the victory over Napoleon. This was evidenced not extant inscription on its wall: “God-Spaselu for the deliverance of the Fatherland from the invasion of the Gauls, and with them dvunadesyatye language”.
The construction of the bell tower of Alexandrov lasted for more than 20 years. It was the highest bell tower in Russia, the height of which, together with the cross, reached 90 meters. In 1862, at the assumption Cathedral were delivered to the striking clock, ordered in Paris the firm “Borel”. Before the revolution in the temple was a magnificent iconostasis of work of genius Bartolomeo Rastrelli. In addition, there was kept the miraculous icon of the Mother of God of Elets and the image of St. Nicholas.
However, undoubtedly, the main Shrine of our region became the miraculous icon of Ozeryanskaya Mother of God. This Shrine was associated elaborate ritual, approved personally by Emperor Nicholas II. In summer, the icon was kept in the Kuryazhsky monastery near Kharkov, where there is a colony for juvenile delinquents. In winter, the icon was transferred to the Pokrovsky monastery, where he was kept together with relics of the saints of the Pechersk saints and old gospel.
In the late NINETEENTH century to keep the relic was built Ozeryanske Church. And well known citizens Holodnogorsko the Church was put on the place where kuryazhsky the monks transferred the icon to the representatives of the city. Its official name is the Church Ozeryanskaya Mother of God.
At the same time the assumption Cathedral in the XVII century were built the parish Church outside the fortress, in settlements and suburbs. Among the first in 1659, was built the Church of the Annunciation, and in 1683 – Nicholas, Christmas and St. Michael’s Church. By the end of XVII century in Kharkov were six wooden and two stone of the temple. Among them is the intercession Church is the only Church of the XVII century are preserved until our times, in close to original form.
Built this Church was outside the boundaries of the fortress. It was built by the Cossacks, who lived in a small hamlet near the shore of the river Lopan. Originally, the Church was very poor. In 1726 there was an event heavily influenced the life of the Church – was established by the intercession of men’s College convent with the Collegium. The Church became monastery and collegiums. Due to this, the temple is constantly evolving, until the 20-ies of XX century. With the advent of Soviet power the monastery was closed. In ego the buildings housed a variety of museums and organizations. The Church of the intercession because of indiscriminate use began to collapse. The first attempt the restoration of the temple was undertaken in the 50-ies. Repairs were purely cosmetic in nature, but it was enough to save the Church from final ruin. And only in 90-ies began substantial work on the restoration of the temple. However, despite all misadventures, the Church of the intercession was lucky – she managed to survive until our times.
Many beautiful churches were destroyed by the Soviet authorities. For example, the St. Nicholas Church. According to legend, in 1709, attended the worship Peter the great, while visiting the city. In 1733 a wooden Church burned down. Thirty years later on this place was built a new stone Church building which was finished in 1770. Just over a hundred years later, the dilapidated Church was rebuilt. In 1896 was built the magnificent five-domed Church in Russian-Byzantine style. This Church was one of the most beautiful in the city. However, in the 30-ies of the Soviet leadership decided that the center of the city too many of the Orthodox churches and the Church demolished.
Another splendid Church – St. Demetrius Church, was disfigured. It turned into one of the most disgusting theaters of the city – “Sports”. Now in this building again conducted the service, but to restore the temple to its former appearance. This temple is one of the most wonderful pages of the Kharkov Orthodox history. When the 19th of November 1804, the Church burned down with all the archives, property and documents, a miracle happened: the image of the Smolensk Mother of God was found unharmed in the ashes.
Across from a recreation center of Builders stood St. Michael’s Church, demolished in the early 60’s during Khrushchev’s war on religion. This temple was famous because here was stored a personal formulary of Ivan Mazepa. To continue the list of destroyed churches can be very long – in Kharkiv was over sixty Orthodox churches. Some managed to recover, but the majority remained only in the memory of old-timers and history books.