The Russian Freemasons. What secrets lie beneath the Church of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God
In the village Yaropolets, Volokolamskiy district of the Moscow region is unusual noble mansion, once belonged to count Chernyshev. The manor holds many mysteries. And yet the most mysterious building complex is today the Church of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God. Unique structure that combines the Church and the family tomb
The Conqueror Of Berlin
The owner of the estate of count Zakhar Chernyshev entered the history of Russia as the conqueror of the capital of Prussia, Berlin. With 13 years Chernyshev was recorded in the guards in 1748 as the commander of the St. Petersburg infantry regiment participated in the campaign of the Russian army on the Rhine. Soon Elizaveta Petrovna Chernysheva was awarded the order of St. Alexander Nevsky.
Commanding a corps of grenadiers, in the bloody battle of Zorndorf (1758) Zakhar Grigoryevich several times personally led the soldiers to attack. And in September 1760 Chernyshev corps entered Berlin.
After the accession to the throne of Catherine II, conqueror of Berlin was awarded the highest orders of the Russian Empire – the order of St. Andrew and became the Supreme master of ceremonies of the solemn rite of coronation.
In 1773 Chernyshev was promoted to General-feldmarshala appointed Governor-General of Belarus, newly incorporated into Russia. Based on its objective to associate with strong ties Belarus with Russia, Zakhar Grigoryevich diligently began a new business. In 1780, Catherine, passing through Belarus, told the field Marshal: “your Roads as gardens. If I had not seen such devices in Belarus, we would not believe”.
In 1782 the latter has returned to Russia with his new appointment. This time as Governor-General of Moscow.
Being commander-in-chief of Moscow, Chernyshev was a patron of the Masonic Lodge (the masons, the count was devoted to one of the foreign trips, between the years 1740 and 1750). Adjutant General he was a prominent Freemason Ivan Turgenev. Famous Freemason and was the ruler of his office semen gamaleja translator of many works of theorists of Freemasonry on Russian language. The Lodge belonged to Admiral Greig, Bartsch and Spiridonov, and chief Procurator of the governing Senate Prince Gabriel Gagarin and the richest in that time the Russian Prince Cherkasskiy and count Stroganov.
At the end of the 1770s Chernyshev decided to turn his estate into a yaropoletskoy the “Russian Versailles”. The decoration of the Park complex was a Palace of a home. Assume that the author of the project was the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Vallin de La Mothe. The architect often worked on the orders of count Chernyshev family (on account of Vallin de La Mothe participation in the design of the St. Petersburg Academy of arts).
The building was considered one of the finest not only in Moscow but also in Russia. The front yard of the Palace was decorated with graceful wings. The carriage drove through an openwork gate. Crenellated towers of the gate were reminded of the victories in the Russo-Turkish war.
The center of the universe
Unusual was planned not only the house, but the estate as a whole. As has been said, it is a Versailles of the ray-paths. It is known that the direct rays of the Versailles paths intersected exactly in the bedroom of the Royal Palace.
However, field Marshal Chernyshev understand the solar symbolism of Versailles is very original – the direct rays connected villages, which are included in the estate.
The center of the “universe” was the granite obelisk on the main Park Avenue, erected in memory of the visit of the estate by Catherine the great.
According to old Russian tradition, around the count’s home was a Park. Walking through its winding paths, it was possible to discover new “lands”. From the “Turkish mosque” the path led to the “Chinese house”, and from it to the “ancient temple”.
And yet the most mysterious structure of the estate and to this day is the Church of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God. Unique structure that combines the Church and the family tomb, was built in 1780-1790-ies. After the death of field Marshal the completion of a Grand building engaged his widow, the Countess Chernysheva.
According to one version, the project author is the architect-Mason Vasily Bazhenov, a lover of the mysterious, bizarre and strange. Other sources attribute the authorship of the famous Russian architect Matvei Kazakov, who built the hall of the nobility (known as the pillar hall of Unions) and the building of Moscow University on Mokhovaya street.
The Church of our lady of Kazan has a rare, original architecture. Although the Church in the usual sense of the Orthodox religious buildings this building is difficult to call.
The layout and orientation of buildings, few consistent iconic building. The temple has two symmetrical wings. Both wings combined transition that simultaneously serves as the lobby.
The left part of the Church served as an Orthodox Church. But the right portal of the Church, according to some historians, was used as a meeting place for the Masonic lodges. The layout of the room and its decoration.
Space “Masonic pieces” (also called the room of the tomb) separated by columns. Instead of a domed top, as in the left part, here made of suspended arches, which gives the interior a resemblance to secular hall. And frieze are covered with stucco carvings depicting the scenes of Masonic rituals.
Branch of acacia was used during the rite of initiation into the Freemasons. It could be either made of gold or natural. Acacia symbolized the Sun, life force and immortality.
The all-seeing eye
Most likely, the authorship belongs to the Masonic interiors of Bazhenov. Because it customer led project correspondence.
But whoever was the architect, the ideas that professed, the customer, in its creation, the wizard reflected. Even outside the Church of the Kazan Mother of God decorated with Masonic signs and symbols. Thus, the pediment over the entrance to the Church is crowned with the human eye in the triangle “all seeing eye” of the occult, one of the main symbols of Freemasonry.
After the death Chernysheva in a Masonic hall was equipped with the tomb of count. Floor mounted removable plate, under which there began the descent into the tomb, where was placed the coffin with the remains of field Marshal.
Mosaic floor symbolized the changeable course of life, and the hole in the floor — the persistence of modern hunters.
Over the tomb to this day there are remnants of monumental stone tombs, which was made from sketches of another Freemason – Roman sculptor Alexander Triple.
Pre-war photos of gravestones and the remains allow to reconstruct its composition, which was based on a huge pyramid. Its background was the other elements of the tombs: a pedestal of white marble with three relief images, a fragment of a column with a sarcophagus and a marble plaque with black lettering.
At the top of the pyramid was reinforced marble medallion with profile portrait of Chernysheva’s work Shubina. Subsequently, the medallion was stolen.
One of the fragments of the gravestone is a white marble relief depicting farewell Chernysheva family, is now kept in the Museum of architecture and is considered one of the masterpieces of the collection. In 1936 (during these years, in yaropolets, the HOMESTEAD housed a children’s colony) the relief was removed from the tomb, and transported to the Museum.
Marble block with the image (in the middle) hat with plumes, and on the sides – St. George and the arms of count Chernyshev.
‘Shame’ on the grave
In his time the tomb has been strange, inexplicable story. According to the project, on the sides of the pyramid Triple decided to have two allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Glory that were never installed. Due to some reasons, the monument remained unfinished, although all its parts were executed. On pictures 1936 the figures of Glory and Sadness can be seen in the interiors of the Palace of count Chernyshev: they decorate one of the reception rooms.
Perhaps the customers do not like the finished sculpture brought from Rome, or, on the contrary, like to the extent that they have become the ornament of the Palace.
According to another version, the flaw was the result of protest of local clergy against the staging of the tomb of the two half-naked female figures…
Today, the Glory and Sorrow can only be seen in the photos. But they did not die in the war, as is commonly believed. In the war of the Triple masterpieces have survived, evidenced by photographs 1946. As so often with works of art in our country, sculpture disappeared in the postwar years.
On count ruins
Today the Kazan Church is dying. Until 1966 it was operating, then it was closed, decided to restore it, but the case is not brought. Today due to damp, the interior was quite lost. Hit the gallery. Rotted wooden columns. Was about to collapse of the slab. Flowing water is ruining the stucco. In the tomb fell a few wooden pillars, and replaced with props.
Back in the mid-1980s, the iconostasis was preserved considerable fragments of wood carving. All this gradually pilfered, and in 2002 from the tomb was stolen, and a marble bas-relief of field Marshal…
Such is the ignominious end only known in Russia, the Masonic temple, which had once put the fate of the country.