Temple of Michael the Archangel

Temple of Michael the Archangel
Cathedral Church in Smolensk

Smolensk. Temple of Michael the Archangel

It is believed that it was the old church of Michael the Archangel that gave the name to the future estate of the Yusupov princes – Arkhangelsk. The temple (then still wooden) began to be built here in the 16th century. Since then, a lot of water has left the Moskva River – this is the name of the section of the former channel, on the banks of which the estate stands.

The temple of the Archangel Michael in the Arakhngelskoye estate was redesigned several times. In Soviet times, it was turned into a museum together with the Yusupov Palace. And in 1994 they returned to the believers, the services in it were resumed.

In the 18th century, this estate was bought by Nikolai Yusupov, a prominent statesman, diplomat and one of the largest patrons of art in Russia. He also gathered a marvelous collection of paintings in the palace, and outside he created a beautiful park, which was visited, perhaps, by all our kings of the 19th and early 20th centuries. And where the famous prince Felix Yusupov lived, who went down in history as a participant in the massacre of the “elder” Rasputin, who exerted a strange influence on the family of Nicholas II.

Archangel Michael Church
Archangel Michael Church

Whoever has owned the Arkhangelskoye estate since the 16th century! And the princes Odoevsky, and the Sheremetevs, and the Golitsyns. The last prince was not lucky: under the famous for her tough temper Anna Ioanovna, he was accused of treason.

In 1810, the estate was acquired by Prince Nikolai Yusupov, a great art lover. But as soon as he placed his collection in the estate, as the war with Napoleon began, the paintings had to be urgently evacuated away from trouble – to Astrakhan. A little later, the estate had to be rebuilt after a fire. The result was a luxurious ensemble – “Russian Versailles”, where Pushkin, Herzen, Ogarev, artists Serov, Benois, Makovsky and other celebrities loved to come. Even emperors, from Alexander I to Nicholas II, were frequent guests. In honor of the arrival of each of them, memorable columns with eagles at the top were erected here. You can still see them.

The Temple of the Archangel Michael itself in the Arkhangelskoye estate was built in 1660-1667 on the site of a wooden church of the 16th century. It is considered the oldest building on the territory.

Temple of Michael the Archangel
Odigitrievsky temple built into the fortress wall of Smolensk

Interesting Facts
At the beginning of the 16th century, on the site of Arkhangelskoe, there was the village of Upoloza. Then, according to legend, they decided to build a temple that would protect the settlement. So the first wooden church was built in these places in honor of the Archangel Michael.

A road leads to the church – it is located under the Holy Gates, built during the reign of Nikolai Borisovich Yusupov in 1824. According to local legend, passing under them, you need to “throw” some insignificant desire out of your head – and then the main thing, the cherished desire will certainly come true.

Temple of Michael the Archangel
Celebration in honor of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God