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Yelokhovo Cathedral

The first place I visited in Moscow was Yelokhovo Cathedral. Its official name is the Epiphany Cathedral at Yelokhovo. Our choice was determined by the fact that Yelokhovo Cathedral is located close to the house in which we settled with Sasha, near the Baumanskaya metro station. For Sasha, Yelokhovo Cathedral is a special temple; therefore, it was exactly where he led me first.

Tourists rarely visit Yelokhovo Cathedral; it is not listed in most tourist guides. It is their loss. In subsequent years, I visited many cathedrals in various cities of Russia; however, none of them eclipsed Yelokhovo Cathedral with its inner magnificence.

We arrived at Yelokhovo Cathedral in the evening, soon upon our arrival from the airport. The temple immediately fascinated me evoking associations with a fairy tale. Yelokhovo Cathedral is painted in lime and white colours; it is decorated with majestic golden domes. I knew nothing about the art of architecture and could only rely on my own feelings. I saw the miracle of architecture, which was incomparably higher than anything I had seen before in India or Nepal. Yelokhovo Cathedral is huge; nevertheless, at the same time it breathes with ease as if it hovers in the air.

Later, I learned that part of Yelokhovo Cathedral was built in the late 18th century. In 1799, the most famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (who, by coincidence, bore the same name as my beloved man) was baptised here. The main part of Yelokhovo Cathedral was created later, in the middle of the 19th century, according to the project of the Russian architect Evgraf Tiurin. When creating the main dome, Tiurin was probably inspired by the shapes of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Going inside, I was overwhelmed by such an abundance of feelings that I could not cope with their influx. “Delight”, “splendour”, “beauty”, and “grace” — these are the words that come to my mind when I remember this moment.

There were a lot of icons around; they were in huge gilded icon settings. The luxury of the interior decoration of Yelokhovo Cathedral is explained by the fact that from the middle to the end of the 20th century it was the most important cathedral of Russia, in which the services of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus were held. It is not surprising that the best forces and means of the Russian church were invested in the decoration of the cathedral. The most talented masters, icon painters, and restorers worked here. In fact, not the cathedrals of the Kremlin, but Yelokhovo Cathedral was the main temple of Russia in the 20th century.

I felt a special aroma in Yelokhovo Cathedral in many other Russian churches; it was the smell of many burning candles mixed with incense. This smell incredibly pacifies and raises the soul to the highest vibrations. Grace descends on you already from this one smell.

Sasha led me to the icon of the Mother-of-God of Kazan. He explained to me that this is the most important icon for believers in Russia, as it saved Russia from evil many times. At the beginning of the 17th century, people prayed to it for the salvation of Russia from the Polish invaders and at the beginning of the war with Nazi Germany, the believers walked with the icon of the Mother-of-God of Kazan through the streets of Moscow with a prayer for the salvation of their fatherland. A miracle happened: a turning point came in the war and Russia won.

Even now, believers endlessly come to the Icon of the Mother-of-God of Kazan in Yelokhovo Cathedral with requests for help. We also approached and asked for the most secret things for us. Everything we asked for came true.

I have always been a sensitive person; I have always been attracted by the spiritual world and spiritual knowledge. It is in Russian cathedrals and monasteries (as nowhere else) that I feel deep peace and divine harmony. Since that visit to Yelokhovo Cathedral, Russian churches have become my favourite place to visit in Russia.


© Traveling To Russia - 2024

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