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Ephiphany Cathedral in Elokhovo

The Epiphany Cathedral is one of the most well-known churches of Moscow. The surviving cathedral now stands on the site where the village Elokhovo and the church of the Mother of God of Vladimir lay in the 15th century. Legend has it that in 1468, the famous fool for Christ and miracle worker Vasily the Blessed (Vasily Blazhenny, or Vasily the Fool for Christ) was born here. The Cathedral of the Intercession on the Red Square, or the St. Basil the Blessed Cathedral, was later consecrated to him.

The village grew into a part of Moscow in the 18th century. Next to the German quarter, the district emerged as a fairly populated area during the reign of Peter I. A small wooden church was not enough to accommodate the entire parish. In 1717—1722, the first stone cathedral was built with the money of the local believer Prince Koribut-Voronetsky, the privy secretary of the cabinet of Peter I Alexei Makarov and Tsarevna Praskovia Ivanovna, with the help of Peter I. The parish of the Epiphany Church gradually grew to be the largest one in Moscow.

The old cathedral remained in place until 1837, and Alexander Pushkin was baptized here in 1799. In the mid-19th century, the outstanding Russian architect Yevgraf Tyurin, already famous for the construction of the St. Tatiana chapel for the Moscow University and the Auditorium Building in Mokhovaya Street, the restoration of the Kremlin`s Arsenal and rebuilding of the Alexandrinsky Palace and the Pashkov House, was commissioned to build a new cathedral.

On October 18, 1853, the new cathedral was finally consecrated. The beautiful, imposing five-domed structure, with its central dome reminiscent of Michelangelo`s dome of St. Peter`s Basilica in Rome, is the latest of Moscow`s monuments in the late classicism style. It was frescoed after the Greek style. The refectory and the lower tier of its campanile survived from the old church. A dome above the refectory was added by architect Pyotr Zykov (Jr.) in 1889. As time went by, new paintings appeared, the holy vessels were upgraded, and in 1900, the large cracked bell was replaced.

The cathedral was not closed even after the socialist revolution of 1917, and services continued. During World War II, the cathedral ran fundraising for defense purposes. Metropolitan Sergius himself removed a diamond cross from his hood and his pectoral cross to start the fundraising drive. The parish then followed, dropping its contributions into a candle box.

Until 1992, the Epiphany Cathedral served as the patriarchal cathedral. In 1992, the function was shifted to the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin, which was returned to the Church, while the church in Elokhovo became the metropolitan cathedral.

Relics: a replica of the wonder-working icon of the Mother of God of Kazan which helped liberate Russia from the Polish invasion in 1612; the relics of St. Alexius, the Metropolitan of Moscow; the icon of the Mother of God of Joy of All Who Sorrow; fragments of the relics of the Saint John Chrysostom, Apostle Andrew the First-Called and the Saint of Moscow Pyotr.

15 Spartakovskaya Street
Baumanskaya metro station
For further information call: +7 (495) 267-7591, 261-6913

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* Materials courtesy of , , , 
* Photo courtesy of ITAR-TASS.

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