Cathedral of the Epiphany (Epiphany Cathedral)
The Cathedral of the Epiphany (Epiphany Cathedral) is an Orthodox church in Irkutsk, located in the historic center of the city at the intersection of Sukhe Bator streets and the Lower Angara embankment. It is the second oldest stone building of Irkutsk. In the XVIII — XIX centuries - the cathedral of the Irkutsk diocese.
The Epiphany Cathedral was founded in 1693 outside the eastern wall of the Irkutsk Kremlin. Originally, the church was wooden and was called the Peter and Paul Church. Her name was worn by one of the towers of the Kremlin. All the buildings of this temple burned down during a fire in 1716.
Two years later, it was decided to restore the cathedral, but from brick. Donations for its construction were made by citizens and guests of Irkutsk. Six years after laying the first stone, the Petropavlovsk chapel was built in the name of the holy apostles Peter and Paul.
In 1729, the bell tower was completed, and on July 22 of that year, the chapel in the name of John the Warrior, which existed until 1818, was consecrated.
During the Great South Baikal earthquake on June 27, 1742, a cross on one of the small heads of the cathedral broke and the stone tent of the bell tower collapsed, instead of which a wooden dome with a spire was made.
The solemn consecration of the Epiphany Cathedral took place on September 25, 1746.
In 1755, the construction of a stone wall around the temple began. In the 1760s, three more chapels were added to the three-patronal cathedral: one on the south side - in the name of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, and two on the north - in the name of John the Baptist and in the name of All Saints.
In 1771, St. Sofronius of Irkutsk was buried in the cathedral.
On the night of April 23-24, 1804 an earthquake occurred, as a result of which the cross of the cathedral fell off and the fifth dome was damaged, which was later removed.
In September 1812, construction began on the second cathedral bell tower. The bell was cast in 1797, weighing more than 12 tons and hung on poles. It was the largest bell in the city, so it received the appropriate name - Big. March 30, 1815 the bell was raised to a new bell tower in the style of Russian classicism, which on June 10 was finally covered with iron and topped with a cross.
On December 30–31, 1861, during an earthquake on Lake Baikal, the cathedral again received serious damage: the vaults cracked, some arches burst, the frames fell out, and in the Petropavlovsk iconostasis two columns moved.
In the second half of the 19th century, a bishop's residence was built next to the cathedral, where the bishop's chambers and administrative premises were located. Over time, the Spiritual Consistory was transferred here, a library of Orthodox periodicals appeared, and a building was built for the religious school. There was also a tomb of several Irkutsk bishops.
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