The Znamensky Monastery and the Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk

The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk

The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk ©HeyValera/Flick

The main religion in Irkutsk is the Orthodox and there are many churches in the city. Today we would like to present you the Znamensky Monastery and the Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk.

The Znamensky Monastery in Irkutsk is known for the residents of this region as the Sign Monastery. This is one of the main monasteries in Siberia that spread Christianity and is dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk is the largest religious monument in the city and was put on the list of the most valuable architectural monuments of Siberia.

The Znamensky Monastery in Irkutsk

The Znamensky Monastery in Irkutsk dates from 1689 and was built by Vlas Sidorov. It was originally built of wood, which led to its deterioration over time, requiring some major reconstruction. For five years its congregation struggled to pick up the stone work and succeeded in 1772. Since then, to the Znamensky Monastery were added the cells of the Saints Apostles of Trifon and Dimitrios, the Kazan and the Transfiguration chapel, gradually reaching the for of the wonderful sacred assembly that we can admire today.

The Kazansky Church in Irkutsk

The Kazansky Church in Irkutsk ©scjody/Flick

The iconostasis is characteristic to the Baroque architectural style, the icons are painted by famous Russian artists and are placed in bright frames, there are large colorful stained glass windows depicting the lives of the Apostles and the church entrance is dominated by a white marble statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the altar we can find two ancient gospels, one of them being signed by Tsar Peter I. These have a major historical importance to Siberia and are protected by the Russian state.

Here we can also admire the marble monument over the tomb of Grigori Ivanovich Shelikof, the graves of some of the revolutionary heroes, the tomb of Alexander Vsilievici Kolchak and of Princess Trubetskaya and her three children. In 1926 the holy shrine was closed by the Soviet authorities and was opened again in 1994.

The Znamensky Monastery in Irkutsk

The Znamensky Monastery in Irkutsk ©byrnzie28/Flick

The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk

The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk dates from 1693 and was originally built of wood, but a devastating fire destroyed it. In the early 18th century instead of small wooden church that existed, here was built a great stone Orthodox Cathedral with the money of the municipality. Its construction took about 20 years. However, the religious monument was closed at the end of the 18th century and a bakery was opened it its place. In the 20th century the bakery was closed and the church was restored by Russian architect Oranskaya and was consecrated in 1995.

The exterior of the Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk is impressive, it has red brick exterior walls decorated with ornaments in the old Russian style with many baroque elements. On the walls we find many carvings and inscriptions with flowers, names of the saints and mythological animals. The building has a 15 meters tall bell tower with four bells. Tourists climb the tower for a panoramic view of the western city. The walls have many rectangular windows.

The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk

The Bogoyavlensky Cathedral in Irkutsk ©HeyValera/Flick

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