Saint-Pokrovsky cathedral, a great monument of Russian architecture from the first half of the XIX century, embedded with shadowy and cosy parks, towers majestically in the central part of the city.
Saint-Pokrovsky cathedral was constructed according to the project of a famous architect A.I.Melnikov on the place of old Ukrainian Nikolaevskaya church. The cathedral was erected through the donations of parishioners and “payment from the treasury”, allocated by Bessarab governor Duke M.S. Vorontsov according to the decree of the Emperor Nikolay I.
The cathedral was consecrated in 1831. It has two altars: the first and main is named Holy Protection of the Holy Virgin. Iconostasis consists of icons of elegant Moscow painting. The second altar is named after Saint Nicolas and was made by the merchant Sorokoletov.
The wall painting of the Cathedral was completed by academician P.A. Piskaryov on the basis of Vasnetsov painting of Vladimir cathedral in Kiev.
Miraculous icons of the Holy Virgin (“A Saver”, brought from Aphon to be blessed by Izmail, and “Quick to Hearken”) and also icons of Holy Virgin “Kazanskaya” and “Semistrelnaya” are situated in the cathedral. There are other icons, as “Saint Mariya Magdalina”, “Saint Nicolas”, “Saint Martyr and Healer Panteleymon”.
Its bells are moulded from Turkish guns. The weight of the biggest one is 11.5 tons. Its colonnade was completed in 1938.
In 2004 restoration works of roof, domes, facades and colonnade were finished.
Saint-Pokrovsky cathedral is recognized to be an outstanding monument of Russian classicism of the first half of the XIX century.
Curacy of Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary
In 1825 Emperor Alexander I gave permission to construct in Izmail a Roman-Catholic church for the inhabitants, officials of different departments, placed in the service of Izmail city council. In 1825 a chapel was erected. Half of the house belonged to the priest.
The Catholic community continued making every effort to construct a church.
A list of parishioners of Izmail Catholic Church was composed in 1844 and consisted of up to 300 people.
The Catholic chapel is market by the letter “e” on the general plan of the city of Tuchkov (now Izmail) for 1849. Therefore, the church was built later.
Saint-Constantine-Helen male monastery is located on the quiet shady Papanin Street. By the blessing of His Most Reverend Agaphangel, metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail in 2001 the same curacy was reorganized into the male monastery to revive monkish life in it. In the day of Life Giving Cross on September 27, 2001, the first worship service (liturgy) had place in the renewed curacy.
According to the legend of its inhabitants, a wooden church with the name of the Saint Grand Duke Vladimir was located there until it was burnt. That is why a decision to construct a stone church was made in 1930. Blessing of the church took place in 1936 in the name of Saint Constantine and Helen. From 1918 to 1940 the city belonged to the Romanian kingdom, which influenced the architecture of the Constantine-Helen church, reflecting Romanian architectural traditions.
Church history of our region was formed around this temple. Diocesan administration and the residence of Izmail bishop are situated there. Fraternal houses are being built there as well.
In the meantime 17 brethren and Father vicar Archimandrite Sergiy live there and officiate in the temple, offering prayers to God, asking for decree and rich mercies to all in need of Divine representation and assistance.
Many palmers visit this place. There is a small hotel for them.
The following honoured sanctuaries are located in this temple: a sacred image of Madonna “Perfumed Flower” and a family icon of Madonna, Saint Magestic Martyrs “Feodorovskaya”.
Adherent Church – the Only Church of Nativity of God’s Mother
In the beginning of 1895 the construction of the adherent curacy started. It was a wooden church on brick foundation. It was triumphantly blessed on October 2, 1896.
Five days after the blessing, on October 7, at 12 a.m., the church was entirely ruined by fire. The only thing that survived was a wooden cross, which is situated under the holy see of the newly built church.
The construction of the new church started in spring 1897 and finished in autumn of the same year. New church was made of bricks according to the project of the governor’s architect G.S. Lozinsky. On November16, 1907 the church was triumphantly blessed. Iconostasis of the adherent church has 2,5 tiers. It is decorated with ancient icons, painted by adherent psalm reader P.G. Serov and Old Believer Stoyanov.
In the central part of the former Izmail fortress there is situated Saint Nicolas church, founded by monks of Athos Karakal monastery. Exact time of the construction is unknown. By the beginning of the XIX century the building was in decay and in 1852 a new church made of bricks was constructed. The last service in Saint-Nicolas church took place in 1946. That year the monastery was ruined.
In 1947 buildings of the churches near the fortress (Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Uspenskaya, a mosque) were put into the list of monuments of architecture of state significance.
In 1995 Saint-Nicolas and neighbouring Saint-Uspenskaya churches were given back to the Ukrainian orthodox church of Moscow Patriarchy. In 2003 Saint-Nicolas monastery was renewed.
Church of Saint Wives Myrrh Keepers
The construction of the church of Saint Wives Myrrh Keepers started in 1849 and finished in 1897. On October 5, 1897 the church was consecrated by the superior Simeon Topalov.
During Soviet times the church was closed, plundered and changed into the warehouse. Only in July 1989 it was rendered to the community headed by the superior archpriest Iohann Baron.
Within 3 years the cathedral was reconstructed.
In 1995 the cathedral was decorated by the artist A.Burbela.
On September 26, 1997 the Saint Patriarchy of Moscow and Russia Aleksiy II, Gracious Metropolitan of Kiev and Ukraine Vladimir, Most Reverend Metropolitan Agaphangel and many hierarchs visited the church of Saint Wives Myrrh Keepers and conducted a short public prayer.
In order to commemorate his visit, the Saint Patriarchy gave a Saint Cross to the Cathedral.
Saint Nicolas Church (for Old Believers)
The Russian orthodox Old Believer’s church, named after Saint Nicolas famous for his miracles, was built by order of the emperor Nicolas I dated on July 21, 1831, “instead of the wooden church, brought from the Danube”.
“Construction of the church was finished on January 12 (25), 1833. Izmail Lieutenant-Governor and Cavalier Tuchkov testified that by his signatures and emblem-stamp”.
There is a many-tier high Russian iconostasis with ancient characters, painted by the best icon-painters of Russia.
The church is under the auspices of Kiev and all-Ukrainian Diocese of Russian orthodox old belief church.
Saint-Uspenskaya church is located not far from Saint-Nicolas church. It belonged to Uspenskiy monastery, founded by monks of the Voznesensky monastery. The time of its founding is unknown.
The first Saint-Uspenskaya church was founded in 1643. It was made of wood. It was ruined and burnt many times. In 1841 a new church made of bricks was constructed.
The church functioned until 1946. Then the monastery was closed. In the meantime the church belongs to Saint-Nicolas monastery.
Сhapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
Nowadays it’s difficult to find somebody in Izmail who remember how the original chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in the port looked like. It was built in 1851 on the same place where on May 19, 1828 a detachment of Zaporozhian Cossacks, who returned from the Danube to Izmail, was presented to Emperor Nicholas I.The chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, like many other religious buildings of Ishmael, met unfortunate fate: in 1945 it was dismantled. But later its destiny turned out well, because the chapel was almost exactly reproduced after more than 60 years.