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Church of the Iberian Icon of the Mother of God

Particularly interested in the history of medieval Orthodox church of John the Baptist.

Its architectural appearance it is similar to the Armenian churches XIII-XIV centuries: a square in terms of building, crowned with a dome on octahedral drum with narrow windows. Later the church was reconstructed: from the main entrance built a fairly roomy space, divided by pillars into three naves, covered with arches arches resting on the console. This temple could take a greater number of parishioners. Passing eerieness outhouse, the believers fall into the high, bright dome room. He was remarkably decorated: on the sides of a semicircular apse stood in full-length figure of John the Baptist and Nicholas, carved from stone. Remarkable, illuminated by sunlight, they produced an indelible impression on visitors. In the upper part of the apse was the image of Christ and the twelve apostles.

Time ruthlessly to buildings, but at the end of the XIX century bishop Tauride and Simferopol Germogen saw the interior of the church as follows: "In the great ancient church, carved on the walls of images: the high place - the Savior, and on either side of him - 12 Apostles , 6 for each, above the altar - John the Baptist with a lamb in her arms, on the southern wall - St. Nicholas, book in hand, under the dome - the face of the Lord, near the temple entrance on the north side - St. George on horseback. The temple is small, but very durable ...». The temple was decorated with amazingly beautiful frescoes, fragments of which survived until our days. In 1927, the medieval churches Theodosia inspect the restoration committee, which included a Russian painter and art historian I. Grabar. He suggested that some of the murals of John the Baptist church to be painted by the famous Byzantine painter Theophanes the Greek (1340-1405), an outstanding master of the frescoes, icons, and miniatures. In the 70 years of the XIV century, he worked in Russia. Save everything to them icons in the Annunciation Cathedral in Moscow and the frescoes of the church of Our Savior on Ilyina in Novgorod.

the temple of John the Baptist is one more historical event, yet another name. In autumn 1474 a Russian traveler arrives Cafu Athanasius Nikitin, who was returning home in Tver from distant India. In "Pilgrimage for the three seas", he wrote: "The sea crossed, but we skidded to Balaclava, and from there went to Gurzuf, and we stood there for five days. The grace of God I came to Cafu nine days before Filippova post (Bogtvorets!). Grace of God I walked three seas ". While the pier and the main gate of the city were in the Genoese fortress. What happened after, there is no documentary evidence, but tradition says that St. Athanasius Nikitin saw John the Baptist church and heard the singing of prayers. As brave travelers for a long time had to live among people, followers of Buddhism and Islam, he gladly prayed in the church, thanking God for his safe return.

In 1475 the Turks captured Cafu. The Muslim religion has become a major, although the multiethnic city acted churches of different religious faiths. But, obviously, over time, the Church of John the Baptist came to desolation, and changed its name, it is now a quarantine pest. In 1887 Bishop Tauride and Simferopol Hermogenes wrote: "Quarantine church of rough stone, in honor of the icons of the Iberian Mother of God - in the south-eastern part of Theodosius, in the quarantine the village, inhabited mostly by retired lower-ranking military personnel and workers. Built the church is unknown, but undoubtedly, it existed since the Genoese domination in Theodosia. Priest Quarantine guard Nick Tregubov with philanthropists resumed it in 1858 and consecrated on 31 August. In 1875 Rukavishnikov painted it and donated three icons in a case behind glass. The temple was consecrated in memory of Panteleimon Church.

In this temple in 1906, married Konstantin Fedorovich Bogaevsky and Josephine Durante. C. f.. Bogaevsky (1872-1943), famous Russian artist, "Cimmerian", was born in Feodosia and lived in Quarantine, but here was his workshop. Church of Icon of the Mother of God of Iver was his favorite.

In the terrible revolutionary years near the temple were shot about 7000 white soldiers and officers.

In 30-ies of XX century the church was closed and virtually abandoned. Despite the fact that in Soviet times quarantined created historical and architectural reserve, which was protected by law, the temple began to crumble and nearly died. Because of disputes between the project institutions and bodies of architecture and restoration work had not been maintained for seven years. Meanwhile, water through a hole in the roof flooded the weakened wall and damaged the ancient frescoes, the floor was covered with piles of garbage and wet soil. Thank God that were found concerned people - architects, art historians, museum workers, who were able to convince the authorities to urgently save the temple. Restoration work has advised the architect and sculptor Valery Zamehovsky. Were carried out drainage works, ground level lowered by 60-70 centimeters, the church courtyard paved with stone. Helped and future parishioners, they carried from the church of garbage, yard decorated with flower beds. Restoration of the church ended in 1996, and he was returned to believers.

On the third day of Easter, the Orthodox Church remembers the miraculous icon of the Iberian Mother of God. In 829, in the Byzantine Empire began its reign of the Emperor Theophilus iconoclast. Across the country, new wave of persecution of the icons. Near Nikeizhila poor widow-Christian. Fearing that her image of the Mother of God falls into the hands of the iconoclasts, she dropped the icon into the sea. And then a miracle happened: supported by an unknown force, and the image was floated on the waves. March 31 999, this was an icon of Mount Athos, near Iver monastery. Iberian zealot Reverend Gabriel "nemokrennymi feet, like a dry land" came out on the waves and won to take the shrine. Set the Icon of the altar, but it again and again provided over the gates of the monastery, so the second name of the icon - "Vratarnitsa. Panagia Theotokos beamed in the Crimea. Autumn 1648 through Odessa and Tauride from Athos carried a list of icons in Moscow.

interesting legend associated with the Iberian icon: before the Second Coming of Christ Iver icon must leave Mount Athos, which will be a special sign for the inhabitants, that they withdrew from there. To avoid all defilement of holy Mount Athos Mount Athos will go under water.

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