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March 29, 2021 7:03 am

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The temple of the second half of the 19th century is part of the ensemble of the Ivanovsky monastery. The inspiration for its creation for the architect was the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, as well as other Italian basilicas.

The Department of Cultural Heritage of the city of Moscow approved the subject of protection of the Cathedral of the Beheading of John the Baptist. After conducting scientific research, the experts compiled a list of all the valuable architectural and decorative elements of the structure.

The temple is part of the architectural ensemble of the St. John the Baptist Convent, better known as Ivanovsky. By the way, it was he who gave the name to one of the seven Moscow hills – Ivanovskaya Gorka.

You can find the cathedral at the address: Maly Ivanovskiy lane, house 2/4, building 5. It was built in the neo-Renaissance style. However, its architecture also contains elements of Old Russian architecture.

“The main cathedral of the monastery – the Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist – has a very unusual architecture for Orthodox churches. It was built in the 19th century after the pattern of Italian basilicas. In particular, the famous Florentine Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The approved subject of protection included the architectural and artistic design of the facades of the cathedral, galleries, passageways, paired bell towers and holy gates. Of particular value are the elements of the cathedral’s interior decoration, such as pilasters, half-columns and columns, faced with artificial marble, complex portals, “said the head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage

Alexey Emelyanov.

The subject of protection also includes vaults and domes, painted with ornaments using the grisaille technique, imitating stucco decoration. In addition, there are picturesque compositions and images of saints, made on canvases or metal boards.

Experts appreciated the marble and white stone floors of the cathedral, as well as mosaic floors with ornamental designs made from cubes of multi-colored marble.

The Cathedral of the Beheading of John the Baptist is a federal cultural heritage site. The building is under state protection. Any restoration work in it can only be carried out taking into account the approved subject of protection according to the project approved by the Moscow City Heritage Site and under the supervision of the department’s specialists.

According to one version, the Ivanovsky Monastery was founded in the XIV-XV centuries and was originally located in Zamoskvorechye near Pyatnitskaya Street – this is reminiscent of the temple in Chernigov Lane in the name of the Beheading of John the Baptist. In the 1530s, by order of the mother of the future Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible, Princess Elena Glinskaya, the monastery was moved to the other side of the river, where it is to this day.

At the same time, a stone cathedral was built in the name of John the Baptist. After the Patriotic War of 1812, the monastery was ruined and abolished. However, in 1859 it was decided to restore it. Almost all of the monastery buildings, including temples, were dismantled. In their place, according to the project of the architect M.D. Bykovsky in 1860-1879, a new architectural complex was erected, which has survived to this day.

On the faceted dome of the cathedral, reminiscent of the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, double windows can be seen. And it is crowned with a Russian head in the form of an onion, around which there are small pyramids with crosses.

The Ivanovo monastery acted not only as a monastic abode. In Soviet times, the complex of his buildings was given to places of imprisonment. Later, the cathedral was converted into an archive storage facility, and the Higher Law Correspondence School of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs was located in the cell buildings. Only in the early 2000s was the status of the monastery restored, and divine services were resumed in the cathedral. Large-scale restoration work was carried out throughout the territory.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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