Museum of Bells Changed Location

Moscow Museum of Bells changed location and reopened in Petrovsky Monastery

The Moscow Museum of Bells, headed by Konstantin Mishurovsky and under the supervision of one of the most famous bell ringers in Russia, Igor Konovalov (Patriarchal bell ringer of the Moscow Kremlin and Cathedral of Christ the Savior), moved from the Izmailovo Kremlin into the ancient Petrovsky Monastery in the city center on Petrovka street. My wife and I, who enjoy a close friendship with Konstantin, were invited to the official reopening of this museum in its new location. There were many fascinating people, both celebrities and ordinary citizens whose lives crossed through time with history, religion and bell ringing, present at the ceremony last night. The Russian news channel Vesti conducted several interviews with Konstantin and covered the event for today's morning news on TV.

I discovered the Museum of Church Bells several years ago while walking around with one of my clients at the Izmailovo Crafts Market (Vernisazh). It was in close proximity to the huge Izmailovo Kremlin and built as a miniature of the stronghold of the Russian town. It also is a representation of the great medieval architectural style of the Russian craftsmen. For several years, this museum was located in one of the beautiful wooden towers. The fascinating part was that anyone could visit this museum for free and ring the bells on top of the tower. The main purpose and "real truth", however, was that the administration of the Izmailovo Kremlin permitted this museum to exist there for a very low rent only for the opportunity to use the specialists for bell ringing to commemorate national holidays, cultural events, concerts and to congratulate newly married couples. In the summer of 2008, Konstantin had visited the U.S.A. to take part in a very important event for the Russian Orthodox Church when the reliquaries bells from Harvard University were returned back to their place of origin in Moscow in the Danilov Monastery. The bells resided there because Moscow is the residence of His Holiness the Patriarch. Problems occurred in the cooperation and relationship between the museum and the administration, which necessitated the temporary closing of the museum. Even the guides had decided to go on vacation, so that my current clients and I were very disappointed that we could not visit the museum. My clients had also learned about the history of the Russian bells and Konstantin's bell ringing and were fascinated with this information.

Even though the Museum of Bells closed in Izmailovo, Konstantin did not give up and as a result of his enthusiasm and perseverence, he was able to find and reestablish this museum in another place. It is now located in the Petrovsky Monastery that had been ransacked during Soviet times. During the ceremony of the reopening of the museum, the monks of the monastery told us the legends and the history of the Petrovsky Monastery. The monastery had been founded by the Patriarch Peter in the 14th century. This house of religion was then the witness and burial place of Naryshkin's family, who were relatives of Peter I (the Great). The monastery had been badly ransacked and damaged during the Soviet times when the communists made some buildings, including the former church where the museum is now located, into offices of the Ministry of Culture. This was a sad piece of history. In between the TV interviews with Konstantin, I was able to speak to him and he told me that this location will also be temporary because the monastery will need to be renovated and restored at a future date. Due to the global economic crisis, there is currently no money for this restoration and it could be 2 years or longer before any renovations take place.

I will try to post some pictures later, but you can look right now at the photo of one of the churches in this monastery that I took almost 3 1/2 years ago on a late summer evening: the Church of St. Sergius.

Official website (only in Russian): BellMuseum.Ru

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About Me in Short

Arthur Lookyanov

My name's Arthur Lookyanov, I'm a private tour guide, personal driver and photographer in Moscow, Russia. I work in my business and run my website Moscow-Driver.com from 2002. Read more about me and my services, check out testimonials of my former business and travel clients from all over the World, hit me up on Twitter or other social websites. I hope that you will like my photos as well.

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