In 1990, the building of the former temple of the icon of the Mother of God Joy and Consolation, located on the Khodynsky field and used throughout the Soviet period for economic purposes, was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. After a whole complex of restoration and restoration work, services were resumed in it, and today the church has occupied a worthy place among the other spiritual centers of the capital.
In December 1906, Moscow Governor-General S. K. Gershelman received a petition from Acting State Counselor I. A. Kolesnikov, in which he expressed a desire to build a temple on the Khodynka field at his own expense, where the barracks of the 1st Don Cossack were located at that time shelf. With this pious deed, the dignitary wished to express gratitude to the Cossacks who took an active part in suppressing the popular uprisings that broke out in Moscow in 1905.
In addition, the temple “Joy and Consolation” —that was, in honor of the eponymous icon of the Mother of God, Mr. Kolesnikov wished to name it — was to serve as a monument to the former Moscow Governor-General, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, who had died the year before by the terrorist Ivan Kalyaev . It was planned to perpetuate the memory of all those who gave their lives in the struggle against the great turmoil that originated in Russia and broke through in 1905.
Of course, permission for such a pious undertaking was received immediately, and after drafting the project, which was well-known at the time by the Moscow architect Vladimir Adamovich (his photo is shown below), the future church was laid.
The solemn ceremony, which took place on April 29, 1907, on the birthday of the innocently murdered Grand Duke, was preceded by a procession from the walls of the Kremlin to the place where the temple was laid. According to the testimony of Moscow newspapers of that time, several thousand people took part in the march.
Tragedy of the Khodynka field
It should be noted that the choice of location for the future church was very bold, since among the Muscovites the Khodynsky field enjoyed ill fame. The memory of the tragedy, which took place on May 30, 1896, was still fresh on the day of the folk festivals in honor of the coronation of sovereign Nicholas II.
A few days before the celebrations, it was announced that distribution of souvenirs and free treats was scheduled during the holiday. This was true, since the Moscow government had prepared 400 thousand paper bags for this case, each of which contained an enameled circle with an imperial monogram and a certain amount of sweets and nuts. Popular rumor added to this and supposedly cooked coins.
Since the evening of May 29, a crowd of free-lance hunters began to gather on the field, and by morning it had reached incredible proportions. When the stalls specially built for the distribution of souvenirs were opened, people rushed towards them with such frenzy that in the resulting crush 1379 people died and 900 were seriously injured.
The temple “Joy and Consolation” on the Khodynka field was built over three years, in April 1909 its consecration took place. Erected in the Byzantine style, it partially resembled the famous church of the Twelve Apostles in Thessaloniki in Greece.
Four powerful pylons (supports) supported the walls of the main structure, made of red and yellow bricks and topped with a dome with 12 vertical windows. On the tops of each of the pylons, small domes were installed, which created the look of the five domes. On the west side of the temple was placed richly decorated belfry.
The interior of the temple
The internal volume of the room allowed five hundred worshipers to attend the worship services at the same time. The attention of visitors was invariably attracted by the marble iconostasis, distinguished by fine carvings and decorated with gold trimming, as well as the shroud – a unique piece of gold and silk embroidery created by the sisters of the Alexeyevsky nunnery according to the designs of V. M. Vasnetsov. The icon “The Last Supper” written by him was also presented there.
Since the temple “Joy and Consolation” on the Khodynka Field was not only a religious center, but also a memorial complex, marble memorial plaques were installed on the inner side of its walls with the names of 1,845 Russian Empire officials killed during the period 1904-1907. for political reasons. They showed with frightening frankness about the scale, which the terror took then, which swept the whole country in a bloody wave.
The onset of times of godlessness
The temple “Joy and consolation” built on the Khodynka field for its intended purpose was used only for 12 years. Already in 1922, in the wake of the first campaign to seize church property, all silver items were confiscated, and after a short time it was finally closed.
Immediately after that, on the orders of the new authorities, all five domes of the temple were demolished, the belfry was destroyed, and the brick fence that surrounded the temple complex and was made in the same Byzantine style as the main building was partially destroyed. Subsequently, the openings formed were covered with coarse concrete slabs.
All subsequent years, the building of the former temple “Joy and Consolation” on the Khodynka field was used for economic needs. Initially, the army club was located there, then the workers’ hostel of the Znamya Truda plant, which was replaced by a hardware warehouse, and finally, for many years, there was a building workshop of one of the capital’s enterprises.
On the verge of death
The real threat of destruction hung over the building in 1980 when, by decision of the city authorities, the former temple on the Khodynka field was identified for demolition in connection with the reconstruction of the Botkin hospital located next to it. In its place it was supposed to build a platform for turning cars that drove up to the hospital morgue.
The building of the temple was saved from destruction only by a petition from the chief physician of the hospital, IP Kuzin, who applied to the authorities of the capital with a proposal to preserve it and, having returned the churches, to create in it the first hospital church in the Soviet Union.
We must pay tribute, in a country covered by communist obscurantism and declaring atheism part of the state ideology, such a step required considerable courage. However, it is to this person that Muscovites owe the fact that the “Joy and Consolation” temple on the Khodynsky Field, which is a remarkable example of church architecture from the beginning of the 20th century, survived from the barbaric destruction.
Revival of the shrine
However, the authorities granted only the first part of the petition of I. P. Kuzin and did not touch the building, while the request for the transfer of his church was rejected, because at that time it was impossible for ideological reasons. Only ten years later, when a different approach to religious issues became apparent in connection with the restructuring, the former church was handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church and entered into All-Holy Charity, covering the northern administrative district of the capital.
How to get to the temple?
Nowadays, the temple of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy and Consolation is one of the leading spiritual centers of Moscow. It is located at st. Polikarpov, house 16. You can reach it by any transport, following to Khodynka field.
The metro is being built in this area, but it has not yet been commissioned, so anyone who wants to visit the temple can take buses number 12ts, 84, 175, 207 or 847, stopping 50 meters from it. In the same direction go and taxi number 18m and 216m. You can get on the trolley bus number 1 and 82, following the Khodynka field. The metro, which is intended to greatly simplify the passage of passengers to this area, is planned to open already in 2017.