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Moscow Arthur Lookyanov
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Majestic Cathedral at Sunset

Majestic Cathedral at Sunset

The majestic cathedral of Our Lady of Iberia was built in Neo Byzantine style in 1904-1908 on the grounds of famous before revolution cloister called "Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery".

This monastery is located in the far south of Moscow and I took this picture by accident when decided to change a rout with my wife on our way back to home from our friends. I was almost lost using the small side roads in unfamiliar industrial and residential district which is not so attractive with grey buildings, railways and some transport or industrial companies, BUT, just imagine, how I was thrilled when this majestic cathedral appeared almost from nowhere making the great contrast to the buildings surrounding it… It was as “The Beam of Sunlight in The Dark Kingdom” and I immediately stopped my car to take a picture… I had not tripod this time, but fortunately it was enough light to take a shot with short exposure time.

By legend the Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery was founded in the time of Kulikovo battle (1380), but it was first mentioned in the city records only in 1623. From 1660s the small Iberian chapel nearby Resurrection Gates on the Red Square belonged to this monastery. The cloister came to prominence under the early Romanovs, and was directly connected with some of the most important figures in the Orthodox Church in the modern age. Besides the old churches as like St. Nickolas Cathedral (1696-1700 ăă.) and the church-over-the-gate of Tolgskoy icon of Virgin Mary (1733), the monastery also contains one of the last major churches to be built in the Moscow region before the Revolution - the majestic Cathedral of the Iberian Icon of the Virgin, which was consecrated in 1908.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Iberia, designed by famous architect Pyotr (Peter) Vinogradov, was built to honor of famous Icon of the Iberian Virgin, which from 17th century was housed in the specially built small Iberian Chapel near Resurrection Gates on the Red Square. The white, black-domed cathedral, which combines neoclassical austerity with elements of Russian revivalism and has space for over 3,000 worshippers, was an extraordinary project for the time, considering the distance of the monastery from the centre of Moscow and its relative unimportance in the Church hierarchy.

After October socialist revolution 1917, because of its distance from the city centre, the monastery was not immediately closed by the Bolshevik government, but it was slowly stripped of its treasures and functions. In 1940-1941, right before the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), all churches of the Nikolo-Perervinsky monastery were shut down. From the stories of some old residents it is known that in 1941, before Easter, they still sanctified Easter cakes, but then, when they came back on Morning Easter Prayer, all cathedrals were already closed and sealed, and Very Reverend Father (superior) Alexander was arrested.

Unlike other religious institutions, the the Nikolo-Perervinsky monastery was suffered its worst degradations in the post-war decades until the nineties when Orthodox religion came out from underground and they started restorations of its cathedrals. Services resumed here in 1991 and the monastery has since became one of the most active in Moscow. In 1996 on the grounds of this monastery was opened Perervinskoe Ecclesiastical School which in 2001 was reformed into Seminary.

With BEST Regards,
Arthur Lookyanov
Moscow Guide & Personal Driver
Russian Orthodox Cathedrals and Churches
Last Edited: Jan 6th, 2008

Photo taken on 2008-01-03 at 17:23:50

Random customer's Responses & Recommendations.
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No photo available Mark Jimenez
From: San Lorenzo, CA USA
Date: 2009-10-05 08:35:33

Arthur was my driver for business for 6 days. He was prompt at all pickups, and even took some time during trips to show me the highlights of Moscow. He has very good insight in finding efficient routes. He made sure I was accommodated for by speaking on my behalf to hotel and work staff.
I heartily recommend Arthur as a personal driver and will not hesitate to use his services again in the future.