Church of the Holy Mandylion

The Mandylion is considered by Orthodox Church as the first icon. It is thought to be an image of the Christ, more precisely of his face, printed on a piece of fabric while he was alive. The first church dedicated to this icon is located on Konuchennaya Square (Stables Square) and was built in wood on Empress Anna I’s request. Empress Elizabeth I had it rebuilt in stone in 1746. It was reconstructed a third time so as to be more conform to the rest of the city’s architecture. Vasily Stassov was put in charge of its design. The church was consecrated in 1823. However it underwent another last reconstruction in the 19th century. This time architect P. Sadovnikov was put in charge of the project. The Church of the Holy Mandylion is well-known for hosting in 1837 the funerals of poet Alexander Pushkin (born in 1799). He died after being wounded in a duel against George D’Anthes. After the 1917 Revolution the church was closed. It became the home of a cavalry regiment from 1923 until it was returned to the Church in 1991.
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