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Intercession at Fili (Церковь Покрова в Филях)

Intercession at Fili (Церковь Покрова в Филях)

Intercession at Fili is a Naryshkin baroque church commissioned by the boyar Lev Naryshkin in his suburban estate Fili; the territory belongs to City of Moscow since 1935. It is located near Bolshaya Filyovskaya Street (exact address: 6, Novozavodskaya Street).

Existing church replaced a 1619 wooden church established by Mikhail I of Russia, consecrated in the name of Intercession to commemorate the victory over Polish troops that happened on this day in 1618. In 1689, Fili village was acquired by Lev Naryshkin, brother of Natalia Naryshkina and uncle of Peter I of Russia. Naryshkin's two brothers were murdered during Moscow Uprising of 1682; it is believed that Natalia saved Lev from the same fate and that Lev Naryshkin vowed to dedicate the church to his late brothers.

The church was constructed between 1689 and 1694 in the shape of a Greek cross, with short, rounded annexes. It actually contains two churches: winter Intercession Church in the basement and a summer, unheated Church of Saviour Not Made by Hands above it. All construction records were lost in a 1712 fire, thus exact year of completion is unknown, as well as the names of architect and contractors (with an exception of icon painters Karp Zolotaryov and Kirill Ulanov). Both Natalia and Peter I of Russia have been frequent guests in Fili and donated money to this church; in 18th century, it was equipped with a clock taken from Narva. The church was damaged by the French troops in 1812 and even more by the Bolsheviks and World War II. By 1945, it lost all domes, crosses and the upper octagonal layer; interiors were looted earlier, in 1922. It was restored in 1955-1971 (exterior) and 1971-1980 (interiors), and painted pale red, although original color scheme remains disputed. The earliest layer of paint uncovered by restoration is pale blue; later layers are either yellow or red.


Russia, 2001, Church in Fili

Russia, 2003.06.20, Church in Fili

Russia, 2004.10.08, Church in Fili

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