Visit the Church of the Resurrection of Elijah in Kursk

What to see in Kursk: getting to know Elijah’s Resurrection Church in Kursk is an opportunity to immerse yourself in history where few have been. Before visiting the Church of the Resurrection of Elijah in Kursk, you should know that it was a small and cozy church hid behind the House of Books on the central street of Kursk. This is the stone church of the Resurrection that tells its story from 1768.

Before that, there was a wooden building consecrated in honor of Elijah the Prophet; which once belonged to the abolished Bozhedsky monastery. In 1788, the chapel of the demolished Church of the Resurrection was transferred to it and until 1833 it was the main cathedral of the city.

He owned neighboring houses, a school and a chapel in the market square. After the revolution of 1917 the church lost all its territories and livelihoods; but the worship services continued until 1926. In 1952, the ruinous part was demolished along with the bell tower; and the House of Books was built instead. The church was reopened for believers in 1995.

The temple of the Resurrection was visited by Father Prohor Moshnin; and it was he who made it the baptismal place of his son, the future orthodox saint Serafim of Sarov; As the plaque says on the wall.


The history of this temple dates back to the distant events of the late 16th – early 17th century, to the Bozhedomsky Ilyinsky monastery. At that time there was a special institution, known as the “miserable house”. Here, the last refuge was found for people who, according to the canons of those years, could not be buried in a cemetery, that is, uprooted and homeless, “miserable”, suddenly caught in death on the road, beggars, people who died during the plague. Sometimes under “miserable houses” monasteries, called “miserable” or “divine houses” were founded.

The monastery was founded by a certain Cornelius (Cornel) Bragin. It was located in the center of Kursk “on the landing … behind the old great prison on the Moscow road”. In 1619, the impoverished Bragin “made a contribution by appointment” to the Nativity of Theotokos Church of the Kursk Monastery, thus establishing the Bozhedomsky Monastery.

Larionov’s name was also given to the stone church of “Nicholas who works miracles, which was built in 1763, which was previously made of wood”, confirming the location of the Bozhedomsky monastery on the site of the current Ilyinsky church, and not where the church was built much later in the name of St. Nicholas demolished in Soviet times.

When attributed to the Nativity of Theotokos Monastery, Bozhedomsky finally “joined” the first, who in 1649 became known as Znamensky. And the wooden church of the old monastery thus became a parish. And that is why it happened.

The settlement of Bozhedomsky monastery in 1628 had 82 inhabitants (accounting was carried out according to the male population). In 1634, he was burned during the Lithuanian invasion of Kursk by the troops of the Vishnevetsky hetman. In the “scheme” of the city in 1722 and in the Kursk plan in 1782, the Bozhedomsky monastery was no longer indicated. It was probably abolished as early as the 17th century, and its temple became a parish.

In 1768, on the site of the old wooden one, a new stone church was built in the name of Elijah the Prophet, or, as the Kurians immediately called it, the Church of Elijah. After the demolition in 1788 of the old building of the Resurrection Cathedral (located near the Znamensky Monastery), the city’s Resurrection Cathedral was transferred to the Ilyinsky Church for a short time (before the construction and consecration of the new building in 1833), after which the church became known as the Resurrection-Ilyinsky.

This name remained with him after the consecration of the newly built Cathedral of the Resurrection. When the bishop’s pulpit was transferred from Belgorod to Kursk in 1833, the Church of San Sergio (Cathedral of San Sergio-Kazan) became the cathedral, while the church of Ilyinsky became the second parish later in terms of importance Social. In city guides in the early twentieth century. it is said: “In Moskovskaya, near Trinity Street.

The Ilyinsky church also owned a parochial school, located in the home of the hereditary honorary citizen A.I. Gladkova on Chistaya Street (now Kirova, 2). Then 82 boys and 35 girls studied in it. In addition, the temple had a very deteriorated chapel in the square, which once housed the upper rows of meat (in the courtyard of the classical university). The church was famous for many years with a wonderful choir of singers and wonderful acoustics.

After the revolution, the Cathedral of the Resurrection lost much of what it had before: its own house, 400 volumes of the church library, metric books stored since 1774 and financial resources. And in 1926 it was closed and for many years the government was located in it. During the war, the building suffered no serious damage. Unless the roof of the bell tent, arranged on a wooden frame, burned, and all the windows were destroyed by an explosive wave.

It was possible to restore the temple in its entirety without much difficulty, but in 1948, near, on the other side of Bebel Street (now Sarovsky Street), there was already a dark, new air traffic control building, which obviously would not please such neighborhood. It is not known if Kursk’s architects defended that opportunity in 1951.

Although even then a successful precedent was created when it was the architects who managed to save the dome of the Znamensky Cathedral from demolition. However, in one of the preliminary versions of the Book House project (architect Mark Teplitsky), the Ilyinsky temple, although without a bell tower, was preserved.

When the old building of the prerevolutionary building is demolished, at least there is a solid base that can be used for new architectural ideas. So, in this case, the foundations of the old building on the corner of Lenin and Bebel streets, as well as the bell tower itself, are operating successfully today, somewhere below the “zero mark”. In addition, part of the temple wall is inscribed in the current eastern wall of the Book House. The marble steps and other details of the bell tower of the Ilyinsky temple were also used in the construction of the temple of knowledge.

Once again, the Ilyinsky church opened its doors to parishioners only in January 1995.

What to see in Kursk today

Now the temple is a square in which there is an octagonal drum, which ends with an octagonal round octagon and a small head. The entrance is covered with a gable roof, the windows are decorated with stucco decoration. The wall above the door is adorned with a semicircular glass window. Outside, it is pink with a white finish, which makes it a bright spot against the background of the surrounding buildings. Inside, the church looks much larger than it looks from the street, arched vaults appear to be linked.

On the walls there is a painting in a golden green scheme, and the altar of curious eyes hides an ancient iconostasis. It’s nice to be in the church, the atmosphere of youth and comfort inherent in the old churches is preserved here. Believers believe that all this is due to the spiritual patronage of Saint Seraph of Sarov.

Practical information

Address: Kursk, ul. Lenin, 11.

How to get there: from Kursk railway station on bus number 94, by minibuses № 45, 60, 74, 78, 208, 246 to the stop “Krasnaya Ploshchad”, then 3 minutes walk on Lenin Street.

Divine services are held daily at 7:30 AM and 5:00 PM.

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