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St. Constantine and Elena church


Address: Papanina str., 42
Year of Construction: 1935


Despite the relatively small age of the St. Constantine and Elena Monastery, its history today contains many white spots. When the Romanian troops left Izmail in 1944, they took all the documents with them, hoping to return soon. That is why the documentary evidence of the monastery has remained the most meager.

In the Romanian period, the St. Constantine and Elena Monastery was chosen as the seat of the bishop’s court. Therefore, Papanina Street was formerly called Bishop’s Street. It is known that then there was a wooden church in honor of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir.

After it burned down, in 1930 it was decided to build a stone church – the episcopal cathedral of the Belgorod-Izmail diocese. Since at that time our city was part of the Romanian kingdom, the architecture of the temple reflected Romanian traditions. The project was compiled by architect Boris Ulinich.

борис улинич измаил

Boris Ulinich (Finkelstein), Soviet architect, who worked in the style of constructivism.

Born in Mogilev-Podolsky in 1885. In 1917 he graduated from the architectural department of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. From 1902 to 1921 he lived in Odessa, where he graduated from a secondary art school, received the title of technician-architect, and met his future wife.

In Odessa he worked on projects for a number of buildings of the Central Union and the People’s Bank, but most of his projects (mainly residential buildings) were implemented in Moscow. He is the author of the Khabarovsk Palace of Congresses.

Known as the initiator of the demolition of the Assumption Cathedral in Khabarovsk, which gave a low assessment of architectural and artistic merits and called the cathedral “a typical regimental church.”

A great contribution to the construction of a new brick church, which was unofficially called the Bishop’s Church, was made by Bishop Dionysius of Izmail. The new brick church was built on donations from the population, the means of the bishopric, and when they became scarce, a loan was made in a Romanian bank.

In 1935 the consruction of the temple was completed and in 1936 it was consecrated in honor of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles kings Konstantin and Elena.

A space for the altar is attached to the temple building, two side niches give the shape of a cross. The cathedral has a two-domed roof. The walls are built of red brick and the roof is made of metal tiles. Most of the architectural elements of the cathedral belong to the Neo-Romanian style. However, unlike Chernivtsi or Balti, here we see a relatively simple adaptation of the Russian-Byzantine style, not accompanied by a departure to modernism with twisting of domed drums.

In Soviet times a wave of godlessness also touched this Orthodox shrine. In 1962 the monastery was closed. Church utensils, icons were arranged for storage in various churches. So the temple miraculous icon of the Mother of God “Fragrant Color” was stored until 2004 in the Bolgrad Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. The barbarians tore the cross from the altar, from the dome. But even a tractor could not break the cross from the bell tower.

Since 1962, for 30 years, the temple has had a museum of atheism. Only on February 9, 1992 the opening of the temple took place and even the bell rang, which barbarians could not remove.

In 2001, with the blessing of the Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail, a man’s monastery was reopened and the first liturgy was held on September 27.

In 2006 the temple was restored.

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