Tambov oldest stone church was founded by St. Pitirim in 1694 near wooden Transfiguration church of Tambov fortress. The cathedral building had been under construction for more than 130 years and today it is a five-dome two-storey cross-building combining the elements of baroque and classicism. The round tholobate is crowned with a hemispherical dome with a smaller round tholobate on top and gilded cupola together with an ornate apple and laced gilded cross. The walls are decorated with paired columns with light windows.
The upper part of the church is painted in a fresco art style of the 20th century. The narthex and stairs of the upper part of the church depict the events from St. Pitirim’s life.
The cathedral had four altars: of the Transfiguration of Christ, of the Annunciation, in honor of St. Pitirim and St. Nicholas. In front of the church there was a four-level bell tower built.
Before the revolution Saviour-Transfiguration church stored the main Tambov sacred objects like the duplications of Kazan and Smolensk icons of the Mother of God and the icon of The Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and John the Divine Interceding painted by St. Pitirim. The duplication of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God was the icon that wept after the zealous prayers of Tambov congregation during the night service for bishop Pitirim’s recovery in 1695. From then on, the icon was considered to be healing. The celebration of this icon called Tambov (Kazan) icon was assigned to be held on July, 21.
In 17th-18th centuries the cathedral was the burial place for Tambov hierarchs. Bishops Pitirim, Theodosius, Theophylact were buried here.
After the October revolution, the local authorities decided to close the cathedral in 1929. The bell tower and chapel over Pitirim’s spring were destroyed. For quite a long period of time the cathedral building was used to house the museum of local history. St. Pitirim’s relics were kept in its storerooms. In August, 1992, the cathedral was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church.
After Saviour-Transfiguration cathedral was returned to the believers, it became the spiritual center of Tambov metropolitanate again. Many orthodox sacred objects are stored in it. Today, the destroyed in the 1930s bell tower of Saviour-Transfiguration cathedral has been reconstructed. It allowed to recreate the original historical look of Tambov Cathedral Square.
Источник фотографий: Russia.Travel