Kinsky Rozdory village that is in the Pologi district of the Zaporizhia region has an ancient “jewel” – a unique Transfiguration of our Savior Temple made in the Greek style. It was built 120 years ago and today it is one of the oldest temples in the region. For a quarter of a century, it functioned as some kind of poisonous chemicals warehouse. Therefore, even today there is a smell of ammonia.

At the end of the XVIII century a wooden church was built in Kinsky Rozdory. In 1796, it was consecrated as the Church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Konska settlement. According to the local legend, Alexander Pushkin himself prayed there. During his journey to Caucasus he couldn’t just pass by.

In 1824 there was a fire, and church burned down. Then it was decided to restore the temple, but this time it was made of stone. For three years lasted construction works. In 1898 it was consecrated as Transfiguration of our Savior Temple of Kinsky Rozdory village.

According to the abbot Vasyl Pasha, the height of the temple is about 30 m. Due to its “height”, it is made in Greek style and has columns at the entrance unusual for church.

In 1961 the church was used as a warehouse for poisonous chemicals, they remained there for almost a quarter of a century. During that time, walls had absorbed so much poison that they began to collapse. Despite numerous attempts to restore the temple from the inside, instead of painting and frescoes on the walls, poisonous “pictures” can be seen.

This year, in August, temple will celebrate its 120th anniversary. During this period of time, heating problem wasn’t solved, windows were not replaced and the reconstruction wasn’t finished.

Vasyl Pash says that one day services were held so often that the temple did not have time to “freeze” and there was no need in heating. Today, the temple warms up by the homemade “potbelly stove” that was donated by one of the parishioners.

“We’ve started to repair the domes. They were in a terrible state, because of this in temple there were constantly problems with the ceiling. Once the domes were galvanized, now they are made of stainless steel. As for the walls, they are constantly wet on the height of 3 meters from the floor – it’s the consequences of keeping poison here. We’ve tried to put them in order, but we do not know what materials to use – nothing sticks,” says Father Vasyl.

Locals say that a few years ago in Kinsky Rozdory raged a twister. Whether it’s a real fact or not, but according to the legend, it passed by the village and stopped before the church, breaking the dome. People say that this way shrine saved the village, but who will save the shrine…

Text: Olha Parseniuk

Photo: Dmytro Smolienko

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