Moscow, August 1, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for two monasteries and a church that were demolished during Soviet times to be rebuilt in the Kremlin, reports Charisma News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the Chudov (“of the Miracle”) and Voznesensky (Ascension) monasteries and a church that were demolished during Soviet times to be rebuilt in the Kremlin, the ancient fortified center of Moscow. The Chudov Monastery, long a center of book translation and learning, was built in 1358 and dedicated to the miracle (hence the name) of the Archangel Michael at Chonae. The Ascension Convent was founded in 1389 by Prince Dimitri Donskoy’s widow, Eudoxia.
At a meeting on Thursday with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and top administrators of the Kremlin site, Putin said his plan would involve tearing down a building used for administrative purposes to restore the site's "historic appearance." The monasteries and the church were torn down in 1929-30, a time of religious persecution under the rule of Communist dictator Josef Stalin, to make space for an administrative building. Putin’s re-building plan would reverse this damage. Putin gave no indication of the cost of construction.
The Moscow Kremlin is much more than the home of the president's office and his administration—it is the ancient historic and spiritual center of the city. In it is the famous Assumption (Uspensky) Cathedral where all the Tsars from Ivan IV to Nicholas II were crowned, as well as other ancient spiritual and cultural landmarks. It is often known as “the heart of Russia.”
"Here is the idea ... to restore the historic appearance of the place with two monasteries and a church, but giving them, considering today's realities, an exclusively cultural character," the Kremlin's website quoted Putin as saying.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Putin said the plan hinged on winning the support of the Russian public and UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency. The Kremlin, built between the 14th and 17th centuries, is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
"I do not insist on anything, it's an idea, a proposal," said Putin. "If the public deems it appropriate then all needs to be worked out calmly."
Putin also supported Sobyanin's idea to re-open the historical Spassky (“Savior”) Gate to the Kremlin for tourists, which is currently closed off. In 2010 the Spassky Icon was restored to its former position above the gate.
"If there is immediate access from Red Square to the Spassky Gate, it will, of course, be more convenient for residents and tourists," Sobyanin told Putin.
"Let's do it," Putin replied.