The Official Karelia
  Русская версияEnglish versionSuomalainen versio
  |About Karelia |Symbols   |Tourism |  Cooperation |

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

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

 The cathedral of the Holy Spirit
The view of the cathedral of the Holy Spirit.
From the blueprints of 1858 г.

The construction of a new cathedral was scheduled at the time when Petrozavodsk was granted the status of a principal town of the province. But the plan was put to practice 90 years later. The first Olonetsky bishop Ignatii wrote a petition to Synod: "The population of the city is growing and the temples are shabby and there is not enough room for the parishers".

Ignatii's petition was not met at the time. The correspondence between Synod, the Construction committee of the Ministry of Home affairs and the Main office of ways of communication and public buildings had lasted for decades.

The permission was received on April 10 1859 on the eve of Easter. A new cathedral made of stone was allowed to be built. An organizing committee on construction was arranged including clergymen, merchants and architectors.

The temple resembled the Moscow cathedral of Christ the Savior. It looked like "a four-end cross in foundation and 26 sazhen in height. The cupola diameter is 6 sazhen. Besides the main cupola there are four cupolas at every corner, the two of them are the bell towers". The construction was funded partially by the Treasury and partially by donations of the residents of the province. The sum of donations had already made 4793 ruble and 49 copecks during the first year of construction.

The construction of the temple was started on April 27, 1860. The religious procession went to the place where the cathedral was to be built and a liturgy was served there. Then the foundation works began.

The first stone was put by the archbishop Arkadii. The copper plaque read: "In the glory of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit the temple was laid out in the year since world creation 7369 and since the birth of the God of Word in flesh in 1861, on June 4".

In 1866 the edifice came to the second raw of windows. On October 2 the cave underground church was blessed, resembling as the newspaper "The Olonetskie Gubernsky Vedomisty ", wrote "warship caves of ancient Christians". It was blessed in honor of the Reverend saints of Olonets: Alexander Svirsky, Adrian Andrusovsky, Afansii Syandebsky, Nikifor Vazheorsersky, Iona Yashersky, Iona Klimenkov, Kornilii Paleostrovsky, Alexander Oshevensky, Kirill Chelmogorsky, Lasarus Muromsky.

In 1869 the temple was crowned with five cupolas and the crosses were erected on them.

In 1872 on the eve of Easter the iconostasis with the icons painted in Alexandro- Svirsky monastery was established. Then three side-altars were blessed: on May 21 - in the name of Jesus's resurrection, on May 28 - in the name of God's Mother and on May 28 - in the name of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Until 1878 the cathedral was cold (without heating). In the summer of 1878 five heaters were put in the cellar, and the cellar church had to be closed down.

The name of the cathedral was that of Resurrection till 1875. In the summer of 1875 it was given a new name of the Holy Spirit. The main altar was called the same name.

It existed until 1930. On January 1930 the presidium of the town council adopted a resolution: "the Petrozavodsk cathedral must be closed down and rendered to Leninsky comsomol organization to arrange a movie theater there ". In the same resolution it was stated: "the church bells must be taken off all the churches and be rendered to the needs of industrialization of the " and "the bell ringing must be banned since February 1, 1930" In 1936 the cathedral was completely destroyed.

The Church of Alexander Nevsky
The Church of Alexander Nevsky.
Фото 1930 г.

The city was deprived of the three churches. They not only decorated the square but also served as the center of spiritual life for generations of Petrozavodsk dwellers.

Much water has run under the bridge since that time. New possibilities of the revival of spiritual life came recently with a new way of state thinking. It can't be done overnight, but we can see with our own eyes as the revival is going forward. We have a new chapel built in our town in the name of the apostols Peter and Paul. It resembles our contemporaries of the first town temple - St. Peter and Paul's cathedral. The restoration of Alexander Nevsky cathedral is nearly accomplished. Its construction was started in 1825 and was funded with the money donated by the workers of Alexandrovsky foundry and that of released from the Treasury. The temple was blessed in 1832. Then it was closed down and the building was rendered to the folk lore museum. After restoration the temple will become the cathedral of Petrozavodsk and Karelian eparchy.

Technical support
Created: 31 July 2000. Last updated: 31 July 2000.
© State Committee of the RK for ICT Development, 1998-2015