PHOTO: monument to the Holy Royal Martyrs, set against the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg
On 4th July 2021, the Church on the Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land, celebrates its patronal holiday.
The Church-Monument on the Blood was erected on the site of the martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II, his August family and their four faithful retainers.
At the end of 1878, a mining official, State Councillor Ivan Ivanovich Redikortsev, built a two-story stone mansion on a hill near the Church of the Ascension of the Lord. In 1908, the house was bought by a military civil engineer Nikolai Nikolayevich Ipatiev (1869-1938).
On the night of 16/17 July 1918, Emperor Nicholas II, his family and four faithful retainers were brutally murdered in the basement of the Ipatiev House. Following the regicide the house was returned to Ipatiev, who then sold the mansion to representatives of the White Army.
On 4th August 1975, a secret resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU No.P185 / 34 “On the demolition of the Ipatiev mansion in the city of Sverdlovsk” was adopted.
The Ipatiev House was demolished on 22-23 September 1977 by Russia’s future president Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007), who was at the time First Secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU.
On 20th September 1990, the Sverdlovsk Soviet decided to transfer the land on the western slope of the Voznesenskaya Gorka to the Ekaterinburg diocese.
On 10th October 1990, the City Executive Committee made a decision to install “a memorial symbol at the site of the murder of the Tsar’s family.” In the same month, Archbishop Melchizedek of Sverdlovsk and Verkhoturye consecrated an Orthodox Cross on the site.
On 28th December 1993, a blessing was received for the construction of the church. A state commission was gathered and architectural as well as funding plans were developed.
On 19th May 1994, with the blessing of Nikon, Bishop of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, a chapel canopy was erected over the cross, crowned with a dome and cross.
On 4th April 2000, Archbishop Vikentiy of Yekaterinburg and Verkhotursky performed a requiem for the Tsar’s family and a Divine Liturgy at the construction site of the church. In August 2000, at the jubilee Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, the Tsar’s family was glorified as a passion-bearers.
Click HERE to read my article Excavations at the site of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg in the early 2000s, published on 24th October 2020
On 23rd September of the same year, His Holiness Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow and All Russia (1929-2008) laid a memorial capsule in the eastern wall of the foundation of the future church. The construction of the Church on the Blood was completed in 2003.
The completed complex comprises two churches, a belfry, a patriarchal annex, and a museum dedicated to the former imperial family; the altar of the main five-domed church, made in the Russian-Byzantine style, is directly over the site of the Romanovs’ murder. The complex covers a total of 29,700 square feet (2,760 m2).
On 16th July 2003, the upper church was consecrated in honour of All the saints who shone in the Russian land. On 18th April 2010, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia consecrated the Lower Church in honour of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers.
PHOTO: beautiful mosaic panel depicting the Holy Royal Martyrs on the wall of the Imperial Room, located in the Lower Church of the Church on the Blood
The central altar of the Lower Church is consecrated in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. In the south-eastern part of the Lower Church is the Imperial Room, which contains an altar in honour of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and their faithful servants who were martyred on this spot.
© Paul Gilbert. 4 July 2021