Chernigovsky skete in Sergiev Posad
Three kilometers from the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, on the shores of the Skitsky pond, the Gethsemane Chernigovsky skete hid from eyes. For a long time, there are cells of monks who are prone to particularly strict solitude. The central church of the skete is Chernigovsky (1886-1889), under which the church is dug right in the cave.
Until the middle of the XIX century, this place was called Korbuha - by the name of the pond. Here students and teachers of the seminary of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra usually walked. In 1843, at the request of the vicar of the monastery of Archimandrite Anthony, the Gethsemane Skete was founded on the shore of the Korbushinsky reservoir. Almost immediately, stone and wooden buildings for monks were built, and in 1871 a gate with a bell tower was erected.
On the opposite side of the Korbushinsky pond, in the Isakovskaya grove, a few years after the founding of the Gethsemane skete, wooden cells of hermit monks began to appear. Later they became an underground branch of the skete. The time of its foundation is considered to be 1847, when the holy fool Filippushka, seeking solitude, was the first to ask permission to dig a cave. He traveled a lot and saw the underground abode of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. He wanted to apply this experience here, in the immediate vicinity of the Sergius Monastery. Many recluses followed the example of Philippushki. So the underground abode was expanded.
Chernigov skete received its name in honor of the icon of the Mother of God of Chernigov. In 1852, the noblewoman Alexandra Filippova sacrificed the icon to the monastery. This icon in the Khotkovo monastery was blessed by Father John Alekseev, a priest. He himself received it as a blessing from the monk of the Trinity Sergius Lavra. The icon was written in the XVIII century - a list of the icon of the Mother of God of Chernigov-Ilyinskaya, located in the Cathedral of the Trinity Ilyinsky Monastery of Chernigov.
In 1852, Vasily Ilyich Merkulov came to the monastery, becoming a novice and taking the veil under the name of Barnabas. His advice was requested by many pilgrims, including Nicholas II. It is believed that the hermit blessed the king to martyrdom.
By the twentieth century, about 400 people lived in the skete, and the skete itself was more popular than the Lavra.
In the 1920s, a prison was located on the territory of the skete, later boarding schools for the disabled and warehouses. In 1990, the skete was revived as a monastery. But after 17 years, part of the skete again occupied an orphanage for disabled children. At the disposal of the monks remained the cave and Chernigovsky temples, the bell tower, the southern corps and the cell of Father Barnabas.
The heart of the architectural ensemble of the skete is the Chernigovsky temple (1886-1889). Under it is placed the cave church, built thirty years earlier. The Cathedral in honor of the Chernigovsky Gethsemane Icon of the Mother of God was built under the guidance of the famous Petersburg architect N.V. Sultanova.
The five-tiered bell tower of the Chernigovsky skete was designed by the Lavra architect Alexander Latkov. Especially for her, a huge bell weighing 1000 poods was poured at the Samgina plant in Moscow. In Soviet times, it was destroyed along with the rest of the bells. In 2009, an 18-ton bell cast by the old technologies was hoisted onto a long-empty tier of the bell tower.
The caves of the Gethsemane Chernigovsky skete are the only man-made caves in central Russia. The caves are two underground temples, a chapel, cells of former cavers and a holy spring.
At the end of the excursion to the skete it is allowed to take holy water from the spring. Water bottles can be brought with you from home or bought in the church shop.
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