Old Believers’ Community

Meshchansky & Basmanny

One of Russia’s most atmospheric religious centres is the Old Believers’ Community, located at Rogozhskoe, 3km east of Taganskaya pl. The Old Believers split from the main Russian Orthodox Church in 1653, when they refused to accept certain reforms. They have maintained the old forms of worship and customs ever since. In the late 18th century, during a brief period free of persecution, rich Old Believer merchants founded this community, which is among the most important in the country.

The yellow, classical-style Intercession Church contains one of Moscow’s finest collections of icons, all dating from before 1653, with the oldest being the 14th-century Saviour with the Angry Eye (Spas yaroe oko), protected under glass near the south door. The icons in the deesis row (the biggest row) of the iconostasis are supposedly by the Rublyov school, while the seventh, The Saviour, is attributed to Rublyov himself.

Visitors are welcome at the church, but women should take care to wear long skirts (no trousers) and headscarves. There is a popular cafeteria in the premises. To reach the community, take marshrutka 340 to Staroobryadcheskaya ulitsa stop from metro Rimskaya.

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