Around Red Square

Znamensky Monastery

Znamensky Monastery (February 2011)

The Znamensky Monastery was founded in 1612 after the Polish siege of Kursk was lifted and its defenders set about fulfilling their pledge to build a monastery should the Virgin Mary save them. Originally the monastery was dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, but from 1618 the monastery was rededicated to the Our Lady of the Sign Icon (Znamenie) as the Our Lady of the Kursk Root Icon was housed there. In the mid-17th century the monastery's churches were replaced with stone versions, which stood until the 19th century when they were rebuilt due to their dilapidation. The monastery was closed in the 1920s and only reopened in 1993.

Our Lady of the Sign Eparchial Cathedral

Our Lady of the Sign Eparchial Cathedral, Znamensky Monastery (February 2011)

Kursk’s most famous sight is probably the Our Lady of the Sign Eparchial Cathedral which dominates Red Square. The original stone version of the cathedral was completed around 1680 on the orders of Tsar Alexis. By the 19th century this cathedral had become dilapidated and was demolished to make way for a new version. The current version was built between 1815 and 1826 in the classical style with a massive central dome and four small corner domes. The façade is decorated with columns and a pediment. The building also incorporates a bell tower. In 1898 the cathedral was heavily damaged when an anarchist placed a bomb under the Our Lady of the Kursk Root Icon, although the icon miraculously survived. In 1919 when the white army abandoned Kursk they took with them the icon which eventually went to America where it remains today. The cathedral was then closed in the 1930s and was only returned to the Orthodox Church in 1992. In the same year an exact copy of the Our Lady of the Kursk Root Icon, which was made in 1902, was given to the cathedral and a religious procession with it once again took place to the Korennaya Hermitage, restarting the old tradition.

Resurrection of Christ Church

Resurrection of Christ Church, Znamensky Monastery (February 2011)

The monastery's second church is the beautifully decorated single-domed Resurrection of Christ Church. It was built using the funds of parishioners in 1875 to replace an older wooden church which was demolished in 1788 as part of the new city plan. In 1923 the church was closed and used as a factory and a warehouse. It was eventually returned to the Orthodox Church in 1997 and restored.

Location 4 Ulitsa Lunacharskogo, Krasnaya Ploschad (Red Square)