Intercession Cathedral in Izmailovo

The stone Intercession Cathedral was built in the 1670s on the site of a unanimous wooden church. The builders were prescribed to follow the example of the Intercession Cathedral in Alexandrovskaya Sloboda. However, following the scheme of the four-column cathedral and its zakomara roofing they managed to build an edifice that just slightly resembled the prototype. The cathedral in Izmailovo has no household basement, staircases are located on its three sides and it is surmounted with five massive domes.

In 1673, the upper part of the cathedral was dressed with raised polychrome tiles. A frieze consisting of 18 elements (called ‘peacock’s tail’, ‘peacock’s ocelli’ or ‘burdocks’) goes through the broad cornice, central zakomaras and drums. The frieze ornament reminds of ‘ocelli’ on peacocks’ tails or buds of a burdock. Ornament of this kind was usually printed on velvet material brought from abroad or on samite used for church and civil vestments.

Side zakomaras are entirely covered with tiles of brown glaze as well as white, yellow and green enamel that make up a carpet-like ornament of chamomiles, carnations and dragon flowers.

The Intercession Cathedral interior was decorated by painters and engravers from the Moscow Kremlin Armoury, icon painters fromYaroslavl,KostromaandMoscowand monks of the Trinity Monastery (later Lavra) of St. Sergius.

The solemn consecration ceremony took place at the cathedral on 30 September 1679 and was performed by Patriarch Joachim in presence of Tsar Fedor Alexeevich.

In 1839, the cathedral was seriously damaged. The two porches of the northern and southern façades were deconstructed and two alms-house dwelling premises were built close to the wall while the third one was built near the altar of the cathedral. In the XX century, the interior decoration of the cathedral was destroyed and was reconstructed only in the 2000s.

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