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The Petrozavodsk cathedrals

To the 300th anniversary since Petrozavodsk foundation

The authors: Т.Sorokina, D. Gendelev
E. Matveeva took part in the preparation for publication

The book was published by joint efforts of National archive RK and the publishing house of the republic.
Petrozavodsk, 1999

First Petrozavodsk cathedrals
The cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
The cathedral of St.Peter and Paul.
The engraving from the book by N. Ozertskovsky "Travelling by the Ladoga and Onega lakes".
St. Peter., 1792

"There are two wooden churches attached to the town, one of them is "cold" (without heeting) and of three altars: in the names of Holy apostles Peter and Paul, Alexander Nevsky, Alexii the simple person; and another one is warm (with heeting) in the name of the Holy Spirit... The warm one is very simple. The cold one is rather high with four tiers and stair walks. ". So the town churches were described in one of the documents of Petrozavodsk town council in 1782.

The academician P. Ozeretskovsky, visiting our city in the summer of 1785, adds to the above mentioned description. In the book of N.Ozertskovsky "Travelling by the Ladoga and Onega lakes", published in 1792, he writes: "There are only two churches in Petrozavodsk, both of them are made of wood, the cathedral of the apostles Peter and Paul was built by the emperor Peter I... It is round, octanogal, with four banisters around it and with mica windows. Another wooden one is warm, but it doesn't look beautiful.".

In the book you could see a picture of the church of the apostles Peter and Paul . This the first authentic picture of the church. But even this picture was drawn after church reparing in 1772. We don`t know how it looked originally as there is no evidence preserved.

We also don`t know the exterior of the church of the Holy Spirit and the bell tower made of wood sitting between them.

We don`t have any data about the exact time of the temple building. By the legends and church chronicles written in XIX century name the year of buiding of the church of the apostles Peter and Paul 1703. The same sources state that "about the same years" the warm church was built. This view is now very popular both in folk lore literature and in church tradition. We can say for sure that both church had been functioning by 1713. We have a documentary evidence: in a document called "Rospis "two churches with an edifice and utensils were mentioned ".

Since XVIII century the churches had been repaired: the roof,window frames and stoves were changed. In 1739 the issue of the bell tower was discussed by the Office of Petrovsky works (At that time the churches were the Office`s property). The bell tower was so old that it" began to rot ",and reparing was not reasonable. They came to the conclusion to destroy the old bell tower and to build a new one at the same place.

The bell tower served as a clock tower as well. The clock on the tower was connected with the bell through a special mechanism. The bells signalled the beginning and the end of the working day at Petrovsky works. There was a special position established at the Office"clockwatcher",he had to maintain the clock.

There were 14 bells at the bell tower in 20-30th of XVIII century. They were "of little weight, from 13 poods to 30 pounds". In 1717 a 39 pood bell was established on the tower bell. The life of the bell is very interesting. In 1703 it was removed from the church in Olonets to the Olontsky shipyard and from the shipyard it was sent to the bell tower of the Peter and Paul church. But it sat there for a short time. In 1727 the citizens of Olonets sent a petition to tsar Peter II and asked to move the bell back to its legal place. It was done in 1731.

The construction of a new bell tower was accomplished in the summer of 1741. It functioned till the end of the century and was torn down, when a new stone bell tower was started. The clock were functioning till the beginning of 1790th. At night the tower was used also as a watch tower. Two guards had to sound the alarm "in case of fire or thugs ".

The church of the Holy Spirit had become "quite shabby " by 1756 and it was supposed "to be repaired". After inspecting the authorities had another guess coming. They decided to built the church anew.

Synod blessed the construction on July 4, 1757: "A new church of the Holy Spirit attached to the works should be built, then decorated by holy icons in Russian- Greek church manner". Unfortunatelly no other relevant documents were found. It`s quite possible that the construction had not been accomplished. At least in the 90th it was noted that the church was good-for-nothing.

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Created: 31 July 2000. Last updated: 31 July 2000.
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