If you eager to downshift your fast-paced way of life in an overcrowded city and relax, then you should urgently pay a visit to a very small but definitely enchanting village Parkhomivka which is located just in two hours away from Kyiv near Volodarka. What does actually make it so inviting? It’s not only about the breathtaking rural nature, also there is a unique church awaits you to be thrilled with its monumental architecture. Let’s talk about its exclusivity.
Deep into the roots
Starting with discovered facts about the village it had been owned by the princes Vishnevetsky. Then, at the end of the 18th century, it was a property of Mikhailo Tchaikovsky. Afterward, at the end of the 19th century, the lands were sold to the Russian industrialist Victor Golubev who had earned his assets when constructed railways and founded metallurgical and machine-building plants. He turned the area into a model farm with the status of “reserved” where rare fruit trees were grown and a rich harvest of grain and vegetable crops had been collected. The landlord’s family had never been a tightwad for spending money to the development of the sight: two schools, a hospital, a midwife’s clinic, a small library, and a teahouse with the largest repertoire of music plays in the nearest neighborhood were built for villagers. What is more, the landowner annually allocated funds for the maintenance of these institutions.
Some experts argue that Golubev planned to build a large industrial plant in Parkhomivka (brick factory), but friends had persuaded him to start building a church. But he died in Rome in 1903 before the construction began, having bequeathed to bury him in his countryside. His will was fulfilled and he was buried in a crypt next to the majestic temple which his descendants ordered to build immediately after father’s death. All his contributions were testified by exposing a monument to the great philanthropist near the church only in 1994, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The church construction was ordered to the architect Pokrovsky in 1903 and finished in 1906. And for two years the official church authority did not give permission to consecrate this marvelous church for two thousand parishioners as they supposed that the architectural decision of the temple does not correspond to the church canons. Indeed, there were no such architectural solutions in Orthodoxy. So, what was the matter of that?
Church of Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Pokrova church) in Parkhomivka is just partially similar to the Orthodox ones. This is a kind of architectural synthesis of Gothic, Oriental (Asian) architectural traditions and pagan forms. The temple is decorated with images of fire, hammer, arrows, sprouted grains, snakes, grape clusters, pieces of plowed land, spruce tree, rooster and, even, fylfot symbols (ancient Indian symbol of the eternal movement of life). All this, along with asymmetric images of crosses, parquet floors, fifty-meter bell tower, and benches in the temple room, did not satisfy the church authorities. But the church was still consecrated in 1908.
Famous decorator Nikolai Roerich, who was a good friend of Golubev and Pokrovsky, also contributed to the glory of the heritage by developing of 13 sketch mosaics and exterior decor of the temple. But there were only two mosaics embodied: “The Protection of the Virgin Mary” and “The Savior Non-Created”. Smalt for them was made by one of the best masters of that time Frolov. Mosaics decorate the temple in Parkhomivka even till these days.
Knowing Soviets were not merciful to religious buildings and a lot of monuments of religious architecture have been destroyed, Pokrova Church was saved due to its usage as a club, a warehouse and a storage for fertilizers. Its condition was worsening till 1979 when the temple received the status of a monument of architecture. Finally, Kyiv Regional Department for Construction and Architecture of the Institute “Ukrproektrestavratsiya” began restoration work in 1982. In 1987 Nicholai Roerich’s son planned a visit to Parkhomivka. As a result, Soviet authorities worked on the restoration with more intensity and huge funds were invested. Although Roerich did not come, the previous beauty of the temple had been brought back.
Since 1992, the church services have been resumed and excursion route “To the Roerich mosaics” was organized. Nowadays many travel agencies organize trips to Parkhomivka in addition to excursions to Bila Tserkva, Uman, Tetiiv.
Hereby, don’t spend your life senselessly as you do not live your life without travelling. Visiting this park will help you to find some peace and warmth in what you are observing. And there is no need to count your years because as Francis Bacon said: “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of the experience”. So, let the harmony flow into your life with feelings and emotions you have as you relaxing in the beautiful heritage park.
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