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Trinity church at Nikitniki

3 Nikitnikov Lane
3.3
Images of this church can be found in every textbook of architecture.
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Images of this church can be found in every textbook of architecture.

Nikitnikov lane - one of the shortest in Moscow, there are almost no buildings - it's actually a lane between several large buildings. Its fame is attached to the Church of the Trinity of the Life-giving, which is in Nikitniki. Its images can be found in all the textbooks of architecture, and above the facades and interiors worked the best masters of his era. Only its location is not very "winning": the buildings of the 20th century blocked it from almost all sides, destroying the beautiful old Moscow landscape, and the church itself was almost lost due to the construction boom.

The name of the alley and the church appeared thanks to the efforts of the merchant Gregory Leontyevich Nikitnikov, who moved to Moscow from Yaroslavl. He began to build in 1628 a stone church of the Holy Trinity instead of burned down in 1626 the wooden church of St. Great Martyr Nikita. Church construction was stopped several times and then resumed; decorative items were perfected and added. As a result the church acquired the current appearance in 1651, and the interior decoration continued later. At the same time Nikitnikov created not only a parish church, but also his own house church with a family burial vault in the southern side-chapel of St. Nikita - after death he will be buried here as a temple-builder. Initially, the building of the church was connected by a special transition with the house of Nikitnikov, who stood side by side. In addition, the merchant used an extensive church podlet (the ground floor) as a storehouse for his goods.

The Moscow church architecture of the second half of the 17th century comes largely from the Trinity Church in Nikitniki: the principles of ornamentation laid down in it will be used practically until the time of Peter I. Decorative five-domed with a pyramid of kokoshniks placed in several rows and decorated with green tiles, wide hipped porches (of two , existing at the Trinity Church, one thing was preserved), the tent bell tower, richly decorated window frames - all this will become a model for the new Moscow churches. Particular attention is drawn to the window on the southern facade facing the alley: in the lateral parts of its clypeus, a thin carving with the image of parrots is visible. No less intricately decorated and the neighboring portal: there is a version that the white stone carving was previously also painted in different colors. But most importantly, this decor has a lot in common with the decoration of the windows of the Terem Palace in 1636 in the Kremlin, which allows you to see in them a common authorship. It is possible that Nikitnikov hired the royal masters to build and finish his church. Moreover, for its iconostasis images were performed in the Armory Chamber of the Kremlin, some of them were worked by the best master of his time - Simon Ushakov. At the same time, there is a detail from Yaroslavl temples: in particular, the bell tower is set above the north-western corner of the church gallery. The same paintings, created by Russian masters, as a prototype have Dutch engravings of the middle of the XVII century on biblical subjects.

In addition to the main Troitsky throne and the chapel of St. Nikita, there was also a chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker created by the descendants of Gregory Nikitnikov in the church, and the chapel of St. John the Theologian was arranged in the space under the belltower.

Another popular name for the Trinity Church is known - in the name of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God. This image of 1654, which was kept in the church, became widely known among the Muscovites as a miraculous church, and the church began to be called by it. But only in 1904, at the expense of the church elder A.V. Alexandrov, in memory of the visit of the church by Emperor Nicholas II, in the sub-cell of the church the eponymous chapel was created.

In 1871, the Moscow Archaeological Society had to work hard to prevent the demolition of Trinity Church for the construction of the complex business buildings. It also appeared in the neighborhood in 1901 under the name " Boyarsky Dvor", closing the view of the church from the Old Square, but, nevertheless, the church was not touched.

After the revolution, the Trinity Church in Nikitniki, attributed to the monuments of Category I, was restored and transferred to the Historical Museum as an affiliate. The surrounding buildings, including single storey house of the clergy, was demolished in 1960, and in its place emerged multi-storey housing of the Central Committee of the CPSU, we finally have partitioned view of the temple from almost all sides. From the dominant over the environment, the Trinity Church in Nikitniki was sandwiched between bulky buildings. But, nevertheless, it has preserved not only the appearance, but interiors: paintings, iconostases, gratings. In the 1990s, the church as a museum was closed, a decision was made to transfer the building to the Orthodox community. However, it was only in the 2000s that divine services resumed in a sub-cellar, in the side-chapel of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God. Since 2010, after a long and painstaking restoration, during which it was necessary to save the shaken porch of the church, divine services in the main church resumed. However, the restoration work has not yet been fully completed.

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