Church Of The Twelve Apostles

Church Of The Twelve Apostles On the southern, so-called «Voronezhskaya», outskirts of Tula «next to Konnaya Square», in 1898, the first wooden church was constructed in honour of Twelve Holy Apostles. «Klirovyye Vedomosti» of 1907 says about the church: «The wooden church was donated by the church chief of Nikol'skoye village on the Upa River, Odoyevsky District, with the consent of the clergy and congregation members. It was moved to Tula and placed on Konnaya Square adding the lower scaffolds». On December 17, 1898, Pitirim, bishop of Tula and Belyov, consecrated the church. The love of our ancestors for church construction encouraged them to build a new large stone church, which was laid out on July 8, 1903, by the same bishop Pitirim next to the wooden Church of the Twelve Apostles. A small chapel at the western entrance door of the church still protects the place of the holy altar of the former wooden church. In 1908, the wooden church was redisassembled and transported into the Tovarkovo village of Bogoroditsky district. The construction of the stone church was completed in 1908, and the bell tower finally built in 1909 (prior to that temporary belfry on four pillars stood in the fence).

The church builder is considered to be a local confectioner Vasiliy Evlampiyevich Serikov (died in 1919), whose ashes lie near the southern wall of the church. Despite the fact that the current church building was constructed only in the early 20th century, it is included into the list of architectural monuments of the city protected by the State.

In 1912 there was a parochial school in the church, where 9 boys and 15 girls studied, and a number of parish almshouse for the elderly for 5 people. Both of these buildings are now standing at the entrance of the church's fence by P. Alekseyeva Street. Five large bulbous domes, which are placed on a massive cube of solid red bricks, make up the architectural composition of the church. The style is typical of many churches located in the central part of Russia, and, being adjacent directly to the church, the low brick tent bell tower with multiple corbel arches and other decorations supplements the general ensemble. Window architraves (each window is framed by two pilasters with capitals and completed with a helmet-shaped arch), corbel arches, balusters, arcaded frieze (made of white limestone or painted white) on the brick-red background of the church form white-stone lace, emphasizing rigor and firmness of architectural forms, solidity and, at the same time, lightness and grace of the whole structure. The church has tree side chapels: the central one is in the name of the Twelve Apostles, the right one is devoted to Saint Nikolaos the Wonderworker, and the left one — Catherine of Alexandria. The wooden iconostasis (it is three-leveled in the central part and two-leveled in the side chapels) is gold plated and richly decorated with carvings. The six large and three medium carved icon-cases in the style of iconostasis in central nave make up a single ensemble and give an unusually joyful and elegant image of the church interiors. This impression is amplified by the fact that floors of the church, altar, solea and broad aisle in the middle of the church from the entrance doors to the pulpit are all laid out with mettlach tiles in a perfectly matched color scheme. At the western gate of the church, choir loft is constructed on cast-iron columns, where the right chorus singers are situated. The church walls are painted with artistic images and floral ornament. Copies of many famous artists' paintings decorate the church: V. M. Vasnetsov (Crucifixion, St. Great Prince Vladimir and St. Olga Equal-to-the-Apostles), prof. Markov (the Lord of Hosts), prof. Sorokin (four evangelists in the sails of the church), Hofmann (12-year-old Jesus among the teachers, the salvation of the drowning apostle Peter, the preaching of Christ from the boat), Plockhorst (Christ at Martha and Mary, the entrance of Christ to Jerusalem, Christ blesses children) and others.

The church's hallowed shrines include: Icon of the Passionate Savior,Icon of the Mother of God of Tikhvin, Icon of the Assumption (located above the royal gates of the main altar descending on the reading of the akathists at the Assumption fast), Icon of St. Nicholas which were transferred from the Tula Uspensky women's monastery; Icon of the Mother of God «Of the Three Hands» — from the Church of the Great Martyr George "na Rzhavtse"; Bogolubovo Icon of the Mother of God — from the Church of Florus and Laurus; the wooden cross which was received from Jerusalem.

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92 Oboronnaya St., Tula
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