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Sumy Sights | Holy Trinity Cathedral
Individual and group tours to Sumy

Ukraine Sumy Sights | Holy Trinity Cathedral
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Sumy is the third church in the history of town dedicated to Holy Trinity. About the first wooden Holy Trinity Church reference goes back to 1730. As usual for that time near the church existed a primary school and a shelter for weak and sick. Next in 1827 Michael Lintvarev and his nephew Pavel Lintvarev built a stone Holy Trinity Church.

After the reform of 1861 a significant impetus to development of Sumy gave founder of the famous dynasty - Sugar King Ivan Kharitonenko. At the beginning of XX century Holy Trinity Church had more than a thousand worshipers so came the need to expand the church or build a new one. The decision was done and agreed on construction of new Holy Trinity Cathedral. All the material costs of the cathedral construction took son of Ivan Kharitonenko - Pavel Kharitonenko.

The ceremony of laying of the first stone in basement of Holy Trinity Cathedral dedicated to the birthday of Tsar Nicholas II - May 6, 1901. Pavel Kharitonenko wanted to build a cathedral in Sumy like the majestic cathedrals of Saint Petersburg - Saint Isaac's Cathedral and Holy Trinity Cathedral.

The work on the construction of Holy Trinity Cathedral commissioned to talented Sumy architect Karl Scholz. The cathedral project was reviewed and approved at a meeting of Provincial Government of Kharkiv on 23rd of March 1901.

Clear organization of work and significant investments of Pavel Kharitonenko given the opportunity to lead the construction quickly. In the period from May to October 1901 has laid down in the construction of Holy Trinity Cathedral nearly 3 million bricks. For building works was used bricks of Asmolovskiy Bricks Factory and Portland cement of Novorossiysk and Lisichansk factories.

During the second construction season (May - October 1902) all brick work is almost finished. In autumn was started the works on construction of roof. The next construction season began a month earlier - in April 1903 so started painting and decorating, coating main dome and four smaller domes.

Because of economic crisis at the beginning of the XX century Pavel Kharitonenko was forced to suspend construction. Only in 1911 after almost six years resumed construction of Holy Trinity Cathedral. It is known that Pavel Kharitonenko dreamed to recreate interior painting of Saint Vladimir Cathidral created by Viktor Vasnetsov and Mikhail Nesterov in Kiev. However Mikhail Nesterov refused the offer but agreed to paint the iconostasis. Icons for Holy Trinity Cathedral - the latest creative work as a church painter of Mikhail Nesterov. Painter Mikhail Nesterov wrote for the cathedral six icons: Christ, Virgin, Trinity, Saint Nicholas, archangels Gabriel and Mikhail.

In the central dome in the niches 16 icons was written by Moscow painter Ignat Nivinskiy in 1913. The is autograph of painter Ignat Nivinskiy one of them. A number of icons for Holy Trinity Cathedral created by painter Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.

For a project of iconostasis Mikhail Nesterov recommend the famous Moscow architect Alexey Shchusev. The majestic marble iconostasis was made in Saint Petersburg on the base of Alexey Shchusev project by sculptor Vasily Kuznetsov. In addition to the project of the iconostasis Alexei Shchusev created the original design of mosaic floor around the cathedral. The famous architect also worked on sketches and interior decoration of Holy Trinity Cathedral.

It was decided to install 15 bells on the bell tower of Holy Trinity Cathedral. 12 of them were cast in Moscow in "Samgin" factory and brought in Sumy in June 1913. Pavel Kharitonenko wished to perpetuate in the new cathedral the names of all the members of his family. On the big bell of 345 kg was listed inscription "Health and salvation of servants of God - Pavel, Vera, John, Helena and Natalia" and on a smaller of 150 kg - " God rest departed servant of God - Ivan and Natalia" (Pavel Kharitonenko parents).

In order to establish such a size and weight of the bells "Samgin" factory sent his master to Sumy. On 16th of June 1913 under his directions uplift 11 bells on the bell tower of the cathedral. On 23rd of June 1913 uplift 12th bell - the last major bell. Thus at the Holy Trinity Cathedral that was not consecrated rang 12 bells. It was planned to install three more. One of them weighing 68 kg was cast in "Samgin" factory and two small weighing 11 kg and 2 kg decided to withdraw from the bell tower of the old Holy Trinity Church.

For the organization of the choir of Holy Trinity Cathedral invited the opera singer Ivan Matchinskiy. The consecration of the cathedral was scheduled on September 26, 1914. The sudden death of Pavel Kharitonenko on 13th of June 1914 and then First World War prevented the consecration of the cathedral. Architect Karl Scholz as a German citizen left Sumy. The son of Pavel Kharitonenko - Ivan Kharitonenko, a student at Moscow University - after father's death did not interested in construction of Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Construction of the cathedral was essentially complete - the only left to paint domes by blue paint with golden stars. The iconostasis established single storey and wooden.

After October Revolution Holy Trinity Cathedral has not changed. However during Second World War was damaged the central dome. Next it was an accident and fire burned down most of the overlaps. In 1945 at the expense of religious community of Sumy have repaired overlaps and in 1949 restored the dome.

Only in 1976 the Research Department of Institute "Ukrrestavratsiya" prepared project documentation for the complete of restoration of Holy Trinity Cathedral. The restoration lasted for more than ten years. It was adapted for the organ music hall. And only now when the organ was moved to Philharmonic Center guests and visitors of Sumy could appreciate the greatness and beauty of Holy Trinity Cathedral.

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Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide


Pavel Korsun
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Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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