Vladimirskaya Church in Bykovo
The Gothic style Church of Vladimir Icon Mother of God is the main sight of former Bykovo manor. The church was built in 1789 by project of talented architect in the court of Catherine the Great, Vasiliy Bazhenov, on the grounds of the former grand estate in Bykovo of a powerful nobleman, Mikhail Izmailov, Governor of Moscow and for twenty years head of the Kremlin Expedition which oversaw important construction work in Russia. For this exacting patron Bazhenov built and oval church dedicated to the Vladimirskaya Icon of Our Lady on two floors crowned by a veritable forest of spires and pointed forms in the Gothic manner (unusual or even rare example of the architecture of Russian Orthodox churches). The church is entered by a wonderful staircase which fans out on two sides and is approached through the long trapeza (refectory) supporting twin bell towers. The large freestanding bell tower opposite built by Ivan Tamansky in 1840s in the same style has long taken over this function.
The lower, Nativity, is the heated winter church. The upper, Vladimirskaya (St. Vladimir) church, with marble-lined walls, originally contained a silver organ, also strange furnishing for an Orthodox church where musical instruments are not used but undoubtedly reflecting the taste of the patron. The church was given back for worship in 1990 after long use a storehouse.
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