Rus Articles Journal

What notes can be heard in the stone symphony of one of Priozersk churches?

Generally from Petrozavodsk are the most convenient to reach St. Petersburg on the route M18 “Coca“ (S. - St. Petersburg-Murmansk). Through Olonets, Lodeynoye Pole, Syasstroy. 400 km and - here they, Petersburg suburbs.

But somehow to me before moving in the direction of the northern capital, it was necessary to drop in in Sortavala. Well, it is necessary, so it is necessary. Also I dropped in. Made all affairs which it was required. And is farther what? To come back to Olonets there to go to the track “Coca“? So to it from Sortavala nearly two hundred versts! And then three more - to St. Petersburg. It, taking into account already passed, is more than three hundred kilometers longer than a habitual route! Perhaps you should not come back? Let`s bypass Lake Ladoga from the North and already along its west bank, but not east, as usual, - we will jump out to St. Petersburg.

Here so I also got to Priozersk. Small, nearly 19 thousand. inhabitants, the regional center in the north of the Leningrad region with a rich and interesting story. About which, it is possible to tell long. And not one history. But about it as - nibud another time. And today - about the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin which is on Sobornaya Square of Priozersk.

Why about it?

“The architecture is the music which stiffened in a stone“. Someone says that he let fall on March 23, 1829 this famous phrase in conversation with Johann Ekkerman its well-known the namesake - Goethe. Someone attributes her authorship to Friedrich Schelling. But is and convinced that this wise thought long before Goethe and Schelling was stated by the Greek poet Simonid Keossky (556-469 BC) .

Yes unless it is important? The main thing whoever was the author of the phrase, if all actually quite so and architecture, really, - music in a stone, then Priozersk Nativity Church, at least - the stone symphony. And if to rise under the arches of the temple and to listen attentively … He can tell about much.

This church bears the name absolutely not incidentally. On September 8, 1710 the Swedish garrison of fortress Keksgolm, namely so then was called Priozersk, the general - the major Robert (Romana Vilimovicha) Bruce capitulated to the Russian troops under command. For that century during which the city according to the Stolbovsky peace treaty was a part of Sweden there is no Orthodox church left in it. Therefore converted the Lutheran pick constructed in 1692 on the Spassky island into church. It was also consecrated in honor of the Nativity of the Theotokos which holiday just and was celebrated 8 - go (21 now - go) September.

Church services in this church were conducted till 1836. By this time, most likely, from - for weak the base in northern part of the building several cracks appeared. The belltower which was earlier making with it a whole “started back“ from the temple. And before the city insistently there was a question of construction of the new temple.

The empty seat on an eminence at a floor space was found quickly enough. And by May, 1838 plans of facades and the estimate according to which the cost of construction was estimated at 15852 rubles 28 kopeks by silver were ready (55 482,28 rub bank notes). By the general rule, parishioners had to find money for construction of the temple, but for new keksgolmsky church the Holy synod made an exception and all required sum was allocated from its budget.

Construction was conducted by the local merchant Andrey Vasilyevich Lisitsyn. As would tell now - he acted as a general contractor. And here construction supervision was exercised by the author of the project - Louis Tullius Joachim Visconti, the glorified French architect of that time. Yes, Priozersk Nativity Church was designed … by the Italian.

No, any slip. On Visconti`s nationality - the Italian. But his father, Ennio - Kvirino, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Roman republic, in 1798 after the Eternal city was attacked by Neapolitans, was forced to leave the Homeland and to run to France. Therefore Louis Joachim got the professional education already at the Parisian School of the fine arts where under the leadership of Charles Persie he from 1808 to 1817 studied architecture.

The fountains “Galyon“ (1824-28), “Lyuve“ (1835-39) constructed according to Visconti`s sketches, “Moliere“ (1841-43), “Four bishops“ (1844) and serve today as the real jewelry of streets and squares of the French capital. But the most known creation of Louis Joachim: Napoleon Bonaparte`s tomb in the Parisian church of the Nursing home - set up on a pedestal from green granite it is red - a crimson sarcophagus. But if suddenly somewhere you read that it marble - do not believe. It`s not true. Napoleon`s sarcophagus is made of quartzite. And not simple, but very rare - crimson. The only thing in the world the field of this stone is located on Hugo - the western coast of Lake Onega, near the small Veps village of Shoksh. It and is called - shokshinsky.

This surprisingly beautiful stone was always considered as a symbol of the power and was used only for finishing and decoration of the most significant architectural constructions. Here such as Napoleon`s sarcophagus. At us in Russia crimson quartzite can be seen in the Winter Palace, the Kazan and Isaakiyevsky cathedrals, the Mikhailovsky Castle. It revetted also the Lenin Mausoleum. And the square on which it is, the name - Red - received thanks to crimson quartzite too. Because its stone blocks … Yes, it. Crimson quartzite.

Here so were organically interwoven into the stone symphony of Priozersk Nativity Church not only free - the Italian, but also Veps, and Karelian notes. Shoksha, though the Veps village, but lies in the territory of the Republic of Karelia.

And there is more to come … already said

Ya that plans of facades of Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin were ready by May, 1838. And just this year Konstantin Andreevich Tone (1794-1881) published the album of drawings of stone cult constructions which became a starting point of revival of forms of Old Russian architecture. This style began to be called further “vizantiysko - to Russian“. Or by the name of his author - “tonovsky“.

One of the most known constructions of Konstantin Andreevich built in vizantiysko - the Russian style, is the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Tone, in an author`s manner inherent in it, designed also Yelets Resurrection Cathedral.

And if suddenly who has a natural question - and what relation to Priozersk Moscow and Yelets have? - I explain. It is natural that Louis Visconti well knew an empire style - official architectural style of the First Empire. By the way, come to Russia from prostrate France, together with the troops which came back from a victorious Foreign campaign. But the standard projects of churches developed by Tone were obligatory for architects who had to consider their form and style at construction of stone cult constructions across all territory of the Russian Empire.

Visconti also considered. Here, for example, the helmet of the Old Russian hero which is slightly pointed up, reminding, a dome of Nativity Church. And by rules of an empire style it would have to be rounded off. And so - in many architectural elements of church. Repeating a dome form, arch deepenings over open apertures of the platform of rings of a belltower, over all entrances to church (the western, northern and southern facades) are extended and slightly pointed up.

Perhaps the Priozersk church also turned out such original because in it, integrally and without contradicting each other, merged empire and russko - the Byzantine architectural elements, and in addition to the Italian and Veps notes of its stone symphony were added also Moscow with Yelets?.