Dormition Old Believers' Church

Dormition Old Believers‘ Church is the only Old Believers‘ church in Tambov region. It was founded in 1909 after the tsar’s decree about the religious freedom. The church was built in 1913 according to engineer I.A. Vagakov’s project sponsored by the richest Morshansk merchant’s wife, Maria Ivanovna Smesova. This monument of architecture represents a one-storey building made of red bricks with a bell tower and three domes imitating the domes of St.Basil’s Cathedral. The church laying is based only on cement without any lime. The church was designed in Moscow modified style.        

The church had a wonderful decorated four-level gilded iconostasis. Old believers filled the church with valuable icons and prayer books of the 17th-18th centuries. But the church had been used with its intended purpose for only 15 years. In 1929, it was decided to take the building apart into bricks. Thanks to old believers‘ multiple protests, it wasn’t taken apart but it was closed instead. Some part of the historical valuables of Dormition church was handed over to Morshansk Museum of History and Art, the other part – to Tambov Museum of Local History. Of course, some things were gone never to return. In the 1930s the church building turned into some kind of museum storerooms. In the 1960s the church was turned into a shop.       

Since 1988 the culture department and town Museum of History and Art had been applying to the executive committee of Morshansk town council asking to close the grocery store and to hand over the building to culture department. This decision was made in 1990. The reconstruction works had been carried out in 1991-1996. Finally, in 2002, according to the resolution made by the administration of Tambov region, the church was handed over to the religious community of old believers. 

60, Lotikov Str., Morshansk, Tambov region
+7 (920) 481-41-47
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