Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Kozelets. May 19, 2010.
Translated by Dictum Factum (Kyiv)
It is halfway from Kiev to Chernigiv, and if no bypass, it would generally be near the high way.
In the town is half a dozen of monuments, but tourists come here, of course, for the Cathedral.
| “Something such”…|
Old monthly magazine “Kievskaya starina” which specialized in historical subjects, in 1898 wrote:
“For fanciers of church architecture and paintings Cathedral in memory of Assumption of Virgin Mary in Kozelets town in Chernihovskay province represents something such, perhaps, not to see in all famous in this direction cathedrals and churches of St. Petersburg. (…)
Very soon the cathedral was built. It was like a miracle that everyone exclaimed and decided that not only in Chernihiv, but even in Kiev actually no such cathedral”.
Although the analogy with St. Petersburg, but not, say, with Nizhyn or Sorochyntsi is a bit strange, a grain of truth in the old magazine is can be found. Kozelets cathedral, a white giant of Cossack Baroque (34 by 34 meters), is impressed. Involuntarily I even somewhat understand those people from Kiev, who come here to christen their children - if already chose the yoke of religion, it worth to be sweetened with aesthetic chord for the dessert. Beauty is a universal language; it can’t be compared with artificial Esperanto. Here is really very beautiful. Olexiy Razumovsky had a taste and much money (besides he was married secretly to Russian empress Yelyzaveta Petrivna). In this case, it is also very important.
| The empress took active part.|
Perhaps, Yelyzaveta svet-Petrivna, gives the idea to her beloved to build in Kozelets (where she came to make acquaintance with the relatives of Rozumovsky) the cathedral that would be worthy of the queen. Another version of appearing the cathedral: as if anywhere in Saint Petersburg the empress couldn’t place luxurious and lofty iconostasis which she ordered in Italy: the cathedrals of required height were absent. It’s a pity to waste such an Italian art treasure.
In such a way appeared the cathedral owing to the money of count - favorite (according to other data – his mother, Rozumiha). Possible assistance gave "Dikiy pip" Kyrilo M. Tarlovskyy, scandalously-known clergyman of the time. The fathers-founders that in two hundred years German occupation forces would arrange in their creation a banal stable...
It remained almost unchanged: well unless porches that intended as open soon after the construction of the main size in the form of rotunda-arcades.
Oh how well that I saw it already restored-renovated, snow-white, in shining of own attractiveness. Restoration temporized very long, since 1986; previous had a place in 1946, funds were not enough all the time, on photos of 1980 is seen only a carcass of unique iconostasis. Deprived of the sacred status it looks like a strange set of windows in the beyond.
| Who was the Author?|
People say that the cathedral can be seen already in not ten kilometers to the town. No wonder: Chernihivschina is very flat. In spite of this, I noticed it only when the auto of Sergiy Sobolevs'kiy stopped near the cathedral fence.
I found out about the cathedral from the article “Cathedral of my childhood” authorship of Oleksa Vaschenko (“The Day”, No. 109, June 18, 1999). At that time I have already seen much from West Ukraine and Crimea, East of the country remained for me like terra incognita. The article showed me that there are many sights which also are worth to see. Thanks to the material of O. Vashchenko I know that during the construction of the cathedral the builders faced with hundreds metrical wooden deck on which they transported stones for a building of great high.
Historians study who actually was the real author of this miracle in Kozeletsk let us leave this task for them and I want to invite you inside the cathedral.
| I have never seen the highest iconostasis and what about you?|
Right now is a liturgy. Choirs are located unusually in front of the iconostasis and are filled with singers. Their tones are rather good. Acoustics is fantastic here. At the entrance is a long table with the ecclesiastical literature and pictures of the iconostasis for the sale. No one is interested in my camera. It seems that the iconostasis like a magnet for not only for me, no one can take his eyes from it.
Four or five tires. It depends on the method of counting) the iconostasis flies up like a rocket under the dome, and try in an effort to see it. Believe me, that 34 meters it is very high, people. It is bright, baroque, sparkling with gilding. Multi figured compositions, lofty angels on posts not even look at no less lofty angels that emboss the columns of the cathedral. Competitors.
By the way, the cathedral was abandoned not only in Soviet times.
| And finally…|
“Kievskaya starina” wrote in 1898 that the cathedral in a bad condition, paints and mouldings are cracked and peel off, gilding comes off.
The candle of bell tower shouldn't be forgotten near Cathedral of Assumption. It is much higher than the cathedral - 50 m to the top of the cross. It was built by Grigorovich-Barskiy and Kvasov it seems in 1766-1770, when the cathedral was already built. It was on fire in 1848, after the fire its two-tier roof was replaced by the dome with a spire. The bell tower is square in plan (10 to 10) and four-tier. The first tier is designed by rustic, the second is by tuscan order, the third is by ionian, and the fourth is corinthian. Generally, be sure that the Ukrainian Baroque style has much to boast.