The Upper Church

The Upper Church

“The Church produces an excellent impression: it is high, bright, beautiful “– this brief but expressive comment was made by Emperor Nicholas II after attending the consecration of the Feodorovsky Cathedral on January 15, 1914.

Bronze chandelier in the UpperChurch “Big decorated cap”

Other photos of the Upper church

Photos of the Upper Church one year before the end of the restoration

The internal space of the upper church is complemented by the North and South aisles, and a spacious antechurch in the western part. When one enters the upper church from the Imperial staircase, then he finds himself in the antechurch. It is here, but on the opposite southern side of the lower church, that the second staircase leads up to the choir balcony. Also from here, from the antechurch, there is a door in the west wall which leads into the covered passage linking the upper church with the BellTower.

Today, as it was 100 years ago in the upper church, there are three altars with communion tables. The central altar is dedicated to the Feodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God and Saint Michael Malein, the heavenly patron of the first Romanov Tsar Michael Fedorovich.

A century ago the Southern side-altar was dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and to the martyr Tsarina Alexandra, who were heavenly patrons of the regal couple of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Nowadays it is dedicated to Saint Regal martyrs.

The Northern side-altar was dedicated to the Orthodox Prince Mikhail Tverskoy and sainted hierarch Metropolitan Alexy of Moscow, the heavenly patrons of, respectively, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, the Tsar’s brother and patron of the Building Committee, and the heir tsesarevitch Alexey. Today it is a side-altar in honor of the Holy New martyrs and Confessors of Russia.

Photo of the Upper Church (1914)

Other photos of the original interiors and iconostasis of the Upper Church

The five-tier iconostasis was originally carved from linden wood and gilded. The iconostasis in the Church of the Georgian Mother of God in Moscow, (ParishChurch of boyars Romanovs) – for the upper tier, and for the lower tier – iconostases from Yaroslavl churches served as illustrations.

The icons were painted by well known Moscow icon-painters I.M.Dikarev, V.P. Guryanov, G.I.Chirikov.

Today the iconostasis has been restored in accordance with the destroyed original. The painting of icons, including copies of those that survived in the StateMuseum of religious history, was performed by the iconographers of the St. Petersburg workshop of Saint John the Divine.

In the center of the church,  hanging on four chains, is an openwork bronze chandelier with a diameter of 6.5 meters in the form of the “Big Decorated Cap ” (Royal Crown of Mikhail Fedorovich) which has also been  recreated to replace the lost one.

In addition to the iconostasis and the central chandelier, other items which have been recreated include: small lateral chandeliers, Golgotha, the Tsar’s place, two icon cases, the bishop’s throne, a lamp modeled after a lamp in Ipat’ev’s monastery in Kostroma, plus two floor lamps on the staircases.

The spacious choir areas add to the expanse of the upper church, as does the light interior of the square North-WesternTower nearby.