Sts. Constantine’s and Helen’s Church
The Sts. Constantine’s and Helen’s church is the only preserved parish, which was built in the 17th century. The author is unknown. This church was built of bricks in the 17th century on the place of the wooden one that was erected by the order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. This is a monument of cult architecture built in the traditions of the ancient Russian stone architecture with some baroque elements. One of the versions runs that the church was named after the saints Tsar Constantine and Tsarina Helen equal to the apostles in connection with the date of landing of the troops of Ivan the terrible onto the island of Sviyazhsk, which coincided with the memorial day of Saints Constantine and Helen. Besides, Ivan the Terrible was a son of Tsarina Helen. Father German, the founder of the Dormition of the Theotocos Monastery, became the first rector of the Sts. Constantine’s and Helen’s church. In 1939, priest Anatoly Romanovsky conducted the last service in the church, after which the church was closed. In the 80s and 90s of the past century, the temple was used for museum expositions, because the building was given to the branch of the State Museum of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (TASSR). In 1993, the temple was returned to believers. An altar for services was established in the name of Saints Constantine and Helen equal to the apostles.
In 2010, as part of an integrated project titled “Cultural Heritage of Tatarstan: Ancient Town of Bolgar and Island Town of Sviyazhsk, the restoration work was started in the temple. The restoration included the reinforcement and waterproofing of the temple’s foundation, the façade and roofing works, interior finishing. Also restored and gilded were the crosses; various woodwork articles were made and installed; the northern side-altar of the temple was reconstructed with a baptistery inside it. Restored were also the lost chapel and the fence with a gate of the parish church. All necessary utilities were installed in the temple. From 1939, the bell-tower of the Sts. Constantine’s and Helens church did not have the bells. On 16 June 2012, the bell loft for six bells was installed in the bell-tower. Almost a century has passed until the temple got new bells. The bells were made of bronze (80% of brass and 20% of tin) at LITEX, the Moscow Bell Works. The weight of the bells varies from 4 to 80 kg., and their diameter – from 200 to 478 mm. The smaller bell loft consists of three small diameter and three large diameter bells. The bells comprise a harmoniously arranged canonical sound row with a broad musical range.
Last updated: Apr, 04, 2013, 18:03