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September 27, 2021, 07:14

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The gates of the Nikolaev military almshouse on Izmailovsky Island were cast from cast iron in the middle of the 19th century. They were designed by the architect Konstantin Ton, the author of the Nikolaev (Leningradsky) railway station and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

The cast-iron gates of the Izmailovskaya (Nikolaevskaya) military almshouse were returned from the restoration workshop to their historical place. Experts have restored the appearance of this unique building. The gate is made in the Empire style. They have the status of an identified cultural heritage site and are under state protection. They can rightfully be considered one of the decorations of Izmailovsky Island.

The cast-iron gate was made by the architect Konstantin Ton at the expense of the merchant Ivan Sorokin in 1852. They were conceived by the author as a symbol of the victories of the Russian army and for a long time served as the main entrance to the territory of Izmailovsky Island.

In fact, it is a triumphal arch. She has a prefabricated structure, consisting of numerous parts, some of which are decorated. The parts are fastened to each other with threaded connections and steel wedges. The arch has two brick foundations lined with cast iron panels. The supporting columns of the gate are held together by a single capital. The top of the arch is decorated with a triangular pediment with a double-headed eagle and medallions on the sides.

“The restoration work in the workshop lasted for a year and a half. Specialists cleaned and removed late inserts, eliminated surface defects, straightened deformed parts. Then the gate was covered with a primer, painted and put together, “- said the head

Department of cultural heritage of the city of Moscow Alexey Emelyanov.

According to him, the specialists also strengthened the foundation of the structure. The gate has already been restored twice: in the early 1980s and in the mid-1990s.

Alexei Yemelyanov noted that restoration of the cast-iron fountain with four lion heads, which was also created according to Ton’s project, continues on the territory of the almshouse. It is believed that the lion was chosen to decorate the fountain precisely because it personifies invincible and brave warriors, is a symbol of fortitude and fearlessness.

The bulk of the work has already been completed. The restorers removed construction waste and excess soil, marked and carefully disassembled the cast-iron elements of the fountain. Then they dismantled its bottom, strengthened the foundations, brickwork of the walls and vaults of the technical tank. In addition, they recreated the concrete base of the fountain bowl and restored and assembled all the cast iron elements.

At the final stage, it is necessary to assemble the cast-iron elements of the fountain bowl and restore its terrazzo coating (a type of ceramic tile), and then paint the fountain.

The fountain is an identified cultural heritage site. It is noteworthy that the inhabitants of the Nikolaev almshouse – old soldiers – took part in the casting of the gate and the fountain.

Izmailovsky Island since the time of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was the residence of the Romanovs and their favorite vacation spot. After the capital of Russia was moved to St. Petersburg, the island fell into desolation. Its restoration was undertaken by Emperor Nicholas I. He wanted not only to revive the castle, but also to create under it a large military almshouse for soldiers who had served full time in the army, as well as for those who participated in the Patriotic War of 1812.

Izmailovskaya, or Nikolaevskaya, military almshouse was opened on March 19, 1850. Most of the objects on its territory were designed by the beloved architect of the emperor Konstantin Ton. More than 400 retired soldiers could live in the buildings at the same time. A house for officers and a family house were built.

Until 1917, the institution worked as intended. After the revolution, the almshouse ceased to exist. For some time, a sapper regiment of the Moscow Military District was located on Izmailovsky Island, and in the late 1920s, the territory of the former almshouse was declared a workers’ town named after Bauman. Everything that could be adapted for housing was given to communal apartments.

Utilities existed here until the 1970s. After the resettlement of the apartments, they were occupied by the restoration workshop of the Ministry of Culture of the RSFSR. And in 1987, part of the architectural complex was turned into a museum. After another 30 years, in 2007, Izmailovsky Island became a member Moscow State United Museum-Reserve.

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

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