The Temple of St Nicholas in Gomel
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
In Gomel there are quite a number of architectural attractions that are of high artistic and historical value. Ancient Orthodox and Catholic churches always deserve special attention; many of them have preserved their original appearance up to now. Thus, in one of the town districts there is still the Temple of St Nicholas that stands out fr om the rest for its originality and uniqueness. This structure was constructed several ages ago under a private order.
The construction of the Voloty Temple of St Nicholas the Wonderworker was funded by Duke Rumyantsev and by its order in 1817. Before that there was an old decayed wooden temple. The talented architect John Clarks was invited specially for the construction of a new temple, and in order to pain the main altar the local iconographer was sent abroad to get the skill at the Academy of Arts.
Some weeks after the construction it was agreed to make repairs there due to the priests’ complaints. As a result, the wooden floor was changed into a brick one; and other kinds of repairs were carried out there. In the second hath of the XIX century Gomel came to possession of Prince Ivan Paskevich that planned major changes in the town. He insisted on removal of all peasants living in Voloty to the neighboring village Ivanovka. As a result, there was no one lit in the Orthodox parish so the temple was closed and remained empty for almost hath a century.
By the end of the XIX century the parish in Voloty was restored. The talented architect Komburov conducted repairs and restoration works so in 1899 the renewed Temple of St Nicholas was reopened for parishioners. During the Soviet period the temple was closed and it was neglected for a long time so it is not surprising that it became decayed and began to crumble.
And only in 1999 the company “Proektrestavratsiya” took the responsibility for the restoration of the ancient temple. The restoration works lasted almost six years thanks to which in 2005 the Temple of St Nicholas as if became revived after so many years of decay and neglect. Today it is a functioning temple wh ere every day local residents come to pray.
The uniqueness of the temple consists in the mixture of several styles: Pseudo-Russian and Neo-Classicism. The temple has a quadrangular planning with symmetrical axial composition. The rectangular apse and three-tier belfry are attached to the building. A two-column gable rises majestically above the main entry, and the belfry is crowned with a tented roof. At the same time the building does not stand out for mannerism and excessive splendor as Duke Rumyantsev did not donate a lot of money.
The same can be said about the inner decoration. Visitors of the temple can touch the incredible beauty that has been created for ages by talented artists and masters of wall painting. By the way, the building is located in the beautiful picturesque place near the Sozh River.