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The building of wooden St. Catherine’s church in the 19th century.

From the book of the student of local history Galina Stepanovna Schahova “The Streets of Krasnodar Tell…”

During the development of Ekaterinodar the founders of the city providently left some blocks vacant, setting them aside for something considerable to be built in the future. On one of them, between the streets presently named Mira and Ordghonikidze, Kommunarov and Sedina, in 1814 the Church of St. Catherine was built. The initiator of its building was a military archpriest Kirill Rossinski. The town by then had only the Resurrection cathedral in the stronghold And a small Armenian church near the Pushkin library. Many townspeople found it inconvenient to attend because of the distance, and it also sometimes lacked capacity to accommodate all comers.

In June 25th 1813 contract for building was taken by a Cossack of Minskoy kuren’ (kuren’ – a Cossack village) Piotr Kucher, promising under the contract to “execute the work as fast as possible and by all means end it in a year, if no failure of wood, money or provisions occurs”. The wood was to be delivered to the construction site, and as to money he demanded 4200 rubles (by parts, as the work advances). Moreover, he was to be given “thirty quarters of rye flour, ten of wheat flour, ten quarters of millet, 5 poods of salt, 10 poods of fat, ten cowhide or oxen, fifty sheep, three thousand sea roaches, two thousand other fishes, 2 buckets of oil, ten buckets of vodka…”. He pledged to fairly accomplish the job, and guaranteed that no defect will occur in three years, and if it did, or a leak chanced to be, to repair it on his own expense. The building was completed in time, and obviously well, otherwise it would not have endured the hundred years it stood there.

It was a cruciform church, of pinewood, covered with sheet iron. The crosses and domes gilded from the inside and outside, being painted Itself in white, green and sky blue. The fence was a grating of pinewood, painted in various colours.

The fencing had three gateways. The building was not yet finished when K. Rossinski, this most zealous man of the land of Kuban, opened a school in the watchhouse.

The church of St. Catherine was a side chapel of Cathedral of Resurrection, and services were ministered by the clergy of the cathedral. It acquired its own staff in 1844 and thus became a parish church. At first it was a single clergy, and services were ministered at feast days. After a second priest was appointed in 1904 services became daily, evening and morning.

The square adjacent to the church came to bear the name of it - St. Catherine’s square. The name spread to the streets surrounding the square, as they didn’t have any. After the names were given, (it mostly happened in the 1860’s), the name was also given to the southern street of the square (the one named presently Mira).

During the building of the grand cathedral from 1900 to 1914 the old church of St. Catherine stood shyly beside its rising immenseness. By the time it had a century’s age! The inhabitant’s of “the Gardens” (the future population of Kalinin) addressed the town council, pleading to transfer it closer to them. At first they were refused, but in 1913 a bidding for transporting the church to the third part of the town, “the Gardens” was opened, to give a church to distant outskirts and “to preserve a unique historical monument” at the same time. The church was disassembled and transferred “to the Titarovskaya boundary path”. There was a tin board found during the process with the date of the laying – December 14th, 1813.

The church changed in appearance after the transportation. It had a sad destiny – in 1987 the church caught fire and burned down. One of the first churches of the city served people for over 160 years!

2011-02-16  |  Print version

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