Vestments and holy vessels from the collection of Pavlovsk Museum Reserve

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For the first time in the postwar period the collection of the Palace Church religious objects presented at the exposition of “Vestments and holy vessels from the collection of Pavlovsk Museum Reserve”. It’s those relics, which were evacuated together with other museum objects in the summer of 1941. First of all, we are talking about silverware – the candlestick, the censer, the ark and the tabernacle, which were made in 1798 by order of the Imperial court specially for this Church in the workshop of court jeweler I. Buch under the project of the famous architect M. Kazakov.

The surplice, the veil over the lectern and the vestments to the altar are the examples of high-level Russian embroiderers. The Church vestments made from the dark-red velvet symbolizing the Saviour blood, used in the liturgy on Holy Thursday. Among the memorial exhibits presented in the exhibition, “The sacred history of the Old and New Testaments”, published in 1763 deserves special attention. The book is considered as a Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich “Children’s Bible” and present his first guide of God’s law.

The Palace Church was built by architect Vincenzo Brenna in 1799 and was consecrated in the same year. In this project, the architect stepped aside from the traditional form of a Russian Church and has brought elements of Western European religion architecture. Already in April 30, in 1799, there, in presence of the court, the first reports of A.V. Suvorov was announced on the occasion of the capture of Mantua and Peschiera in Italy. From April to August, in 1799, the Church held thanksgiving prayers over celebrating the Suvorov’s victories. It was the Family Church, where the members of the Imperial family confessed and sacramented. There were the prayer services on the occasion of birth and death, betrothals and weddings, namesdays and other events in the Imperial and Grand-Ducal family, which were the State events at the same time. On July 11, in 1886, in the Church of the Pavlovsk Palace took place the Ceremony of the Christening of the Prince Ioann Konstantinovich, the firstborn son of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna, who was tragically killed in a civil war.

In 1918 the Palace Church was closed. The art treasures located in it (the items containing precious metals and stones) were confiscated and passed to the State Depository of values of the National Committee of Finance. Most of the priestly garment, gonfalons, veils, covers, among which some of them were embroidered by the Empress Maria Feodorovna, lost during the Nazi occupation.

In 1944, during the liberation of Pavlovsk from German invaders the Church was destroyed by fire.

The interior of the Church of the Pavlovsk Palace was restored in 1976 – 1977. Exhibited Canonicals and Church vessels give the full view of the high artistic level.


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