On 2nd July, representatives of the Ural media were given a tour of of the newly restored Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent in Ekaterinburg.
The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows is the is one of the six churches of the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent and the second to be rebuilt. The first was the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The remaining four churches are currently at different stages of restoration.
The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows was built in 1832. It became the first of three churches, which form an unusual eastern facade of the monastery. During the Soviet years, the building was adapted for use as the House of the Red Army and a club. As a result, the church lost it’s dome, altar apse, and interior decorations. When the church was transferred back to the convent, the building, which had stood for decades without repair, was completely dilapidated – only some walls and foundation were preserved. Restoration of the church took more than 10 years. The restoration work was carried out by the best architects and carvers, while the sisters of the convent created paintings and icons for the restored church.
Journalists were the first to see the magnificent interiors of the church after the restoration, including a unique carved iconostasis in the form of a canopy. Other unique features of the interior include the icon of the Mother of God, paintings of the Blessed Virgin, frescoes based on those of the Ferapontov Monastery, the blue toned colours which depict purity and innocence.
The decoration of the church features a marble carved cove (a canopy over the altar, supported by columns). The iconostasis is encrusted with multi-colored marble and is considered one of the most beautiful parts of this church. “The Sisters put all their soul and heart into the restoration of the interior,” said Sister Eustache .
Representatives of the media were also present during the process of installing icons in the iconostasis and talked with representatives of the Zeleniy (Moscow) Restoration and Production Enterprise. The firm specializes in hand carving of the stone, and has created iconostases for the Christ the Savior Cathedral (Moscow) and the Cathedral of St Nicholas (aka Naval Cathedral, Kronstadt).
In addition, the participants of the press tour also talked with wood carvers who made unique shutters for the church, because, as they say in the monastery, “everything in the church, like in the House of God, should be beautiful.”
According to the sisters, the work should be completed by the end of the summer of 2018, and the sisters hope that the church will open to parishioners shortly thereafter.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 3 July 2018