The Cathedral of St. Alexandr Nevsky

The Cathedral of St. Alexandr Nevsky

Since its foundation the history of Petrozavodsk has been connected with the name of St. Alexander Nevsky. He was considered the heavenly protector of Novgorod district, including Karelian pogosts. In 1774, all of the Russia celebrated the 50th anniversary since moving the relics of  St.Alexander Nevsky into Alexandro-Nevsky monastery, erected on the banks of the river Neva at the place of the first great prince's victory over Sweden. At the same time in Petrovsky sloboda, a new factory has been built, which was located a bit higher than the old one along the flow of the Lososinka river. It was named after great prince Alexander Nevsky by Ekaterina the Second's decree.

Alexandrovsky foundry cast cannons to defend the motherland, and on Sundays and holidays the workers used to go to the Trinity church, located near Zaretsky cemetery next to the old church of the Holy Cross Erection. The church was small and shabby, and that's why it was decided to build a new factory church made of stone. The place for the construction of a new church was marked on the Petrozavodsk map of 1885 affirmed by Mikhail the Longarmed, on the right bank of the Lososinka river, not far from Alexandrovsky foundry.

Right Reverend Seraphim, metropolitan of Novgorod blessed the construction of a new temple, and on April 25 in 1825 the Department of mining gave a permission to build a new church .

A competition for the projects of a new church was announced. Three architects presented their works: Jiacomo Quarengi, Geste and Alexander Ivanovich Postnikov. Postnikov's project won because it had met the financial resources of the factory. To construct the church a special commission was organized on February 23 in 1826 under the chairmanship of the manager of Olonetsky mining works Adam. V. Armstrong.

Preparation for the construction was started in 1825. The main works were made by peasant's artels from different uyezds of Olonetsky province. They prepared building materials: stone, wood, lime.

Stone works masters were headed by Pjetro Karlo Moderni who has Italian backgrounds. He had been the chief worker for two years - from 1826 tol 1828. All the works had been accomplished in time and with good quality. Decorating works in the temple were made by master Vikula Jevstafjev from St.Petersburg and a peasant from Kostromskaya province Timophey Kozmin with his artel, the works had been accomplished by September 8, 1831. The roof works were made by Kholmogorsky artel headed by St.Petersburg master Chernyaev, but many works, including decoration were made by local masters of the town and villages. The construction appeared to be more expensive than it had been supposed before. The builders were short of money, that's why the treasury released a solid sum for completion of the works.

The church was built under participation of the whole city and even the whole province and by  early 1832, the construction had been accomplished. On January 27 at the day of St.John Rhetorican, Right Reverend Ignatiy the first Olonetsky bishop, blessed the main altar in the name of St. righteous great prince Alexander Nevsky. The side altars were blessed in the name of the Trinity and St.Nickolai Miracle-worker.

During the Soviet times the temple was closed down,in 1929 it was rendered to the museum of folk lore. The museum had been located here untill the decision of Minister Council of Karelian ASSR accepted in 1990. According to the decision the historical buildings located on former Round Square (now it is called Lenin's Square) was to house the museum of Karelian folk lore. The museum managed to move only in 1993, and after that, restoration works were started.

Address: Alexander Nevsky prospect, 32

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