HOLY DORMITION CATHEDRAL IN POLTAVA
Walking through the center of Poltava, along its main street - October, Cathedral square, one can see many local attractions, most of which are hallmarks of the city. Here you can see old buildings, museums, monuments, extraordinary beauty of the parks. But the main highlight of Poltava, which more than any other city attractions catches the eye with its beauty, is the Holy Dormition Cathedral. This temple is an important part of the unique architectural and historical complex of Poltava, which is located on the famous Ivanova Mountain. From every corner of the city you can see the Golden dome of the Holy Dormition Cathedral, which rises up over the battle of Poltava.
As you know, Poltava is located at the foot of two hills, which are the two main spiritual shrines of Poltava, the Holy Dormition Cathedral and the Holy Cross monastery. They, like caring parents, down, watching the life and order in the city. These two spiritual realms gave the city a new birth as an Orthodox spiritual center of Ukraine.
The Holy Dormition Cathedral in Poltava was built in 1748-1770 years. As during construction, and during its existence, the Church has experienced many events, not always happy, but has shaped its history.
Modern Holy Dormition Cathedral was formerly located in the center of Poltava fortress. To do this, on the site of the present Cathedral Church of the Dormition was called "town Council." The first written mention of this Church date back to 1695 the year. Like most churches of that time, Dormition Church was wooden and had a small two-tiered bell tower. According to one legend, this Church in one of the prayer service was attended by Emperor Peter the great, after the Russian army successfully defeated the Swedes in the battle of Poltava. The last mention of the Dormition Church date back to the year 1776, when due to inappropriate content in Poltava and decay was given to the public of the village of Ivashka, which to the present day there is only 20 km from Poltava.
In 1748 Cossack officers and the public Poltava took a joint decision to build a new stone Cathedral. To do this, they on the 8th of November 1748 was signed a contract on construction with known Serbian architect Stephen Stabinski. During construction of the new Church in Poltava there were a lot of organizational and financial problems that have affected the construction period. For example, in the very beginning, there were so many differences between the initiators of the construction of the Cathedral, which construction work began in 1751, and they lasted for almost twenty years. Before the Grand opening of the new Cathedral that all worship in the Church of the Dormition.
So, in 1770, the doors of the first stone "city temple" finally opened for members. In all its glory the Holy Dormition Cathedral towered over the city. The architecture of the new Cathedral, which appeared on Ivanova mountain, very unusual, because in the Central part of contemporaries noted the presence of elements of Roman construction, and in domes - Greek. The height of the Holy Dormition Cathedral reached 37.5 m, a width of 17 m, and the length is 32 pm. The originality of the forms of this Cathedral, many people were surprised and fascinated, some compared it with the Byzantine basilicas, and others were impressed by his simplicity and certain coldness.
Holy assumption Cathedral to retain its original form has been awhile. Already 10 years after completion of construction, and in 1780 he had his first redevelopment of the building, which affected not only the external form, but also interior. During re-building were completed two dome above the altar, resulting in the Holy Dormition Cathedral became a five-dome. Brick floor in the Cathedral made of cast iron, the choir moved to the second floor were rebuilt sacristy and phenomena. In this form the Holy Dormition Cathedral was able to stand another fifty years.
In 1774 near the Holy Dormition Cathedral began construction of another object - of the bell tower.But, for the same reason as with the Cathedral, because of the absence of necessary funding for its construction was completed soon, but only after 27 years.
In 1847 the Episcopal chair was moved from Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky in Poltava, after that the Holy Dormition Cathedral received the status of a Cathedral.Of course, the new status of this temple demanded immediate modernization, which has changed only a little internal construction of the Cathedral. But after half a century, and more precisely in 1899-1900, at the Holy Dormition Cathedral was another upgrade that touched and size. As a result of this realignment in the temple was equipped with a heating system, rebuilt the altar (now he was with two thrones), increased the capacity of the Cathedral at 172 square meters, it can accommodate ten thousand members. External changes of the Holy Dormition Cathedral touched only the domes - they found a hemispheric shape. Also to the Cathedral was built onto the porch, he built an arch over his entrance and placed near the Western wall of the choir.
Since the first days of its existence, the Holy Dormition Cathedral forever acquired the status of a spiritual center of Poltava. Many city residents baptized in this Church their children during the holidays people came here from all surrounding areas. The Holy Dormition Cathedral played a very important role in the history of this region of Ukraine. Many believers Poltava refer to the Cathedral as a significant part of our ancestors ' heritage, part of their soul, which has survived to our time. But for many others the Holy Dormition Cathedral is beautiful and valuable historical and architectural landmark, or a place where they give their prayers to the Almighty P. peace, T. Shevchenko, I. Kozlovsky, P. Velichkovsky and many other celebrities.
In the history of the Holy Dormition Cathedral there are several interesting facts. For example, in the walls of this temple for some time he kept two ancient shrines is a unique gospel 1628 and 1644. In 1787 the Holy Dormition Cathedral was visited by the Empress Catherine II.
The main spiritual shrine of Poltava happily existed and continued to perform their religious functions until 1934. From the pages of history we all know that in this period, the regime announced a universal cult of "atheism". The Holy Dormition Cathedral, unfortunately, was one of the innocent victims of this cult - temple simply blew up. Fortunately, icons, property of the Cathedral and all the valuable church plate was not damaged, as were transferred to museums.
Only with God's power and authority managed to survive and to survive till our days the bell tower, which was built in 1800.It reaches a height of 44 meters. This bell tower is considered one of the main characters of Poltava, its important historical and architectural landmark. The bell tower is a four-story building, the architecture of which harmoniously combines two popular in the XVIII-XIX centuries the style of classicism and Baroque. Until the end of the XIX century on the third floor of the bell tower of the Holy Dormition Cathedral was surrounded by a huge and famous bell "Kazarman", which was cast from guns that were seized from the Turks during the storming of the fortress with the same name.
During the great Patriotic war in the bell tower began to hold worship services in the restored Church of St. John the Baptist, which existed here since the end of February, 1787. In the postwar period in the walls of the bell tower were equipped workshops. In 1974 in honor of the celebration of the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Poltava bell tower was restored, and opened the city Museum with an observation deck on the top floor.
In this form the bell tower remained until 1999. Time, as they say, was, everything changed, including the government. Since independence, Ukraine has a full freedom of choice in religion. The right to Poltava bell announced immediately two Orthodox dioceses of the Moscow and Kyiv Patriarchate. The debate on this subject was conducted over two years, bringing the right on the bell tower received the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kievan Patriarchate. The city government of Poltava in 1993, he decided to restore the Holy Dormition Cathedral. However, the construction works were started only in 1999, as revealed new documentary evidence from the history of the ruined Cathedral. And only in 2005 took place the Grand opening and the first worship service in the restored Holy Dormition Cathedral.
Architectural ensemble of the new Holy Dormition Cathedral, preserved in the same form as before destruction: the same huge building with a height of 37 meters, with five gilded domes on the roof, which is decorated with beautiful openwork crosses, with an arch near the entrance and decoration of facades. In the internal appearance of the temple is dominated by the style of Ukrainian Baroque.
Despite the fact that the reconstruction of the interior of the temple is still in progress, the Holy Dormition Cathedral in Poltava is open for members and he again brings people comfort and joy, but also decorates its grandeur and beauty of the architectural landscape of the city.