The Church of Saint Simeon of wonderful mountain in Dresden

At the beginning the leader of our tour, rector of the Church in Hamburg, Archpriest Sergei Baburin told in detail about the purpose of our trip. On this day we had to visit the friendly community of the Church of Saint Simeon of wonderful mountain in Dresden, to explore the history of the Church, with the rector Archpriest Georgy Davydov, perform the prayer there. The second purpose of our visit to Dresden was the famous Dresden gallery. Serge talked about the fact that an Orthodox man should be multilateral education and the life of the soul is determined by the person’s ability to surprise. And tour of the Dresden gallery was supposed to be for us the opportunity to wonder, to learn more, to broaden their historical and artistic knowledge.

I must say in advance that our expectations were met in full. In addition we wanted to visit the historical centre and the famous Dresden Protestant Church in the name of our lady – Frauenkirche.

The Frauenkirche

After all, not so long ago in this Church, almost entirely destroyed during the great Patriotic War, raised the money for the whole of Germany.

The next morning the fog had lifted, we stopped in the road to rest, then in the bus saw a documentary about the new Martyr Metropolitan Benjamin, a program with the participation of Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov and already about 12 hours arrived at the temple. Over the autumn landscape of towering blue domes and gilded crosses, indicating to guests and residents of the capital of the Saxon the way to the main attractions for us of the city – to the Russian Orthodox Church.

The domes and crosses

Strict Saint Simeon the Stylite, from the age of six lived in Antioch, since the construction of the temple many times helped us survive as the building of the Church and the Dresden Orthodox community. There was a moleben to Saint Simeon of the wonderful mountain. And the rector of the Church Archpriest Georgy Davydov told us about the heavenly patron of the Church and its history.

The patron Saint of the Church in Dresden Simeon of the wonderful mountain
The monk Simeon the Stylite with Wondrous mountains
Simeon of the wonderful mountain led a very strict hermit’s life, which was accompanied by ascetic feats. The Saint was born in the year 512 in Antioch of Syria, having been requested by the mother through prayer to St. John the Baptist with the promise to dedicate her son to God. From infancy characterized by simple fasting. Already in childhood the monk Simeon appeared several times to the Lord, foretelling him his future exploits and the reward for them.

Six years St. left on one desert mountain, and then settled in the monastery of St. John the Stylite, near the Syrian Seleucia, where you ascended the pillar. For strict and visaelectron feats of fasting and vigils he received special grace of God and the gift of healing ailments.

On the 22nd year of life by a revelation from above turned on Wonderful mountain, where he founded a monastery. Having reached the highest degree of monastic perfection, the ascetic has created many miracles, saw the secret, was granted a vision of the Lord and conversation with Him.

Two years the family lived in Morocco. Very close, without the break, had the appointment in Dresden. This occurred in September 1984. Since that time, 23 years of priest Georgiy Davydov is the spiritual mentor of the Russian Orthodox community of Dresden in the Church of St. Simeon of the wonderful mountain. He takes care of an existing for over 125 years and active community, which is reliable a part of Church life Dresden.

The repairs in the temple

The temple is now transformed, as we have in Hamburg, the repair is not finished yet, but already much has been done. Was followed by a joint prayer service, and then father George told us about the community’s history, the world famous members, and the shrines of the temple to which the pilgrims were able to follow.

The history of the Russian community in Dresden.
Russians living in the States Europe owing to diplomatic, economic and cultural reasons, already in the 17th century established the first Orthodox communities.

In Dresden in 1813-1814 there was room for Orthodox divine service, were in the hall Rylskogo of the Palace, who was then serving as the residence of the Russian Governor, Prince Repnin-Volkonsky. In the Palace of Prince Maximilian on Australlia was a second home to the Orthodox Church.

The beginning of the independent existence of the Russian Orthodox Church community in Dresden refers to 1860, when living here, the Russians expressed a desire to create a home Church. In 1861, with the blessing of the Holy Synod, was decorated prayer room in a private house in Signiertes. In 1862 the congregation had 358 members. From the beginning the community was not created as a private Association, but as a canonical part of the Russian Orthodox Mother Church. In the same year was the beginning of the Church’s choir, which, interestingly, consisted of 4 singers of the Dresden Opera. In 1864, the congregation moved into the house on Beststress, 4 (now Mary-Wigman-Strasse, near Buergerite), which was filmed for 6 years. This house Church was consecrated by Abbot Nicholas Yukhnovsky in honor of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem.

To known members of the community at that time can be attributed envoy of the Russian Mission at the Saxon Royal court Basil Kotzebue, Seeds Vikulina – the rank of privy Councilor and Secretary of the Mission of Alexander Wollner.

Simon Vikulin, founder of the Foundation named after him, ordered “the eternal property of residents in Dresden to the adherents of the Russian Orthodox Church, in their favor and for their liturgical need, the land plot of the Foundation with all it spaced buildings”.

Simon Vikulin

Members of the community were eager to build their own Church. In the end, the construction of a new Russian Orthodox Church near the Russian Mission was made possible thanks to the acquisition of land donated by Alexander Vulnera, extremely generous donation of funds for the construction of semen Nikulinym, Pro Bono work on the project, the Church architect at the Royal court by Harald Julius von Bosse, thanks to the support of the Royal court, but also through the efforts of many other donors and supporters.

Orthodox Church in Dresden
June 6, 1874, with the blessing of his Eminence Metropolitan of Novgorod and St. Petersburg Isidore, priest of the Vienna Embassy Church Archpriest Rajewski, Archpriest Kustodiev from pest (now Budapest), the priest of the Palisades from carlsbad, CA and Dresden rector Rozanov consecrated the Church in Dresden in honour of Saint Simeon of wonderful mountain, the patron Saint Vikulina Seeds.

General illustrated newspaper “On land and on sea”, Stuttgart, 1874 g
After the consecration of a Russian Church in Dresden, the community of the Russian Orthodox Church was recognized by the Saxon Government equal in rights with other Christian denominations.

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Difficult was the way of the community on the background of disturbing historical events of the twentieth century.
During the 1st world war were taken 8 bells (the largest of which weighed nearly 3 tons). Melted them down for military purposes. Dresden police Department said March 30, 1915, “that there are certain doubts from the point of view of politics and security against the resumption of worship in the sense that it is not possible to adequately control the passing in the Russian language the service to determine whether its anti-German content and prayer in favor of the victory of Russian arms”.

The entrance of the temple

Only in 1921, on the basis of the government policy, the Church keys were re-issued to the Archpriest Mozarowski. Archbishop Eulogius, Patriarch of Moscow Tikhon was appointed diocesan Bishop of the Russian communities in Europe, laid on Mozarowski the duties of Abbot.

The Church of Saint Simeon of wonderful mountain in Dresden

Since the founding of the Church the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tsarist Russia annually allocated 1500 gold rubles on the maintenance of the temple. After the revolutionary upheaval in Russia, any support of the Church by the state was abolished. On the contrary, the Church there was declared a terror.Then the parishioners, including the Greeks, their funds help the Church to resist.

Then the Church on the basis of signed by Hitler of the law and regulations was forcibly transferred by the authorities from the Department of the Moscow Patriarchate to subordinate the Orthodox Church Abroad. Many community members said about the exit, including the well-known philosopher Professor author and Prince Obolensky. Thus, a private Foundation Seeds Vikulina was forcibly deprived of his property.

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During the 2nd world war was prohibited the procession of the cross. The Church miraculously survived a terrible bombing RAID on 13 February 1945, when everything was swept away from the face of the earth. The Church had suffered considerable damage. The Central window of the altar room, painted by James Marshall the story of the Savior’s Resurrection, irretrievably lost. The tent is of the bell tower and three of the five domes were destroyed, the roof and some items of inventory burned, and yet the Church remained standing among utter defeat around.

But in damaged Church community life. Committed wedding, christening, burial of the dead. Many of the Russian emigrants who survived the war, remained in Dresden.

ID the Church from the South – East side (April 1950) with traces of destruction on 13 February 1945.

Four years, from 1948 to 1952, took on the restoration of the temple. Thanks to the gift of a Catholic priest from Wilsdruff in 1973 once again sounded the bell, and in 1975 was added 4 others, cast in Apolda. With the support of the Saxon land management for the protection of monuments of architecture, thanks to the Government of the capital of Saxony, the Evangelical and Catholic churches, and many public and private donations, in 1991 began the restoration of the Church building.