Utkinskaia church

Utkinskaia church was very popular and revered by people; it was located in the central square of the city of Tambov, at the place, which is now occupied by the Library named after A.S. Pushkin.  The church, which received its name from the name of one of the benefactors who donated funds for its construction, Tambov merchant  I.F.Utkin, was founded in 1771 in gratitude for deliverance from the plague, which struck Tambov region in those years. The church replaced the old dilapidated church of Peter and Paul, standing in Yamskaya Sloboda near the wall of the Tambov fortress. Now, this place is occupied by the building of the regional library named after A.S. Pushkin.

Construction of Utkinskaia church was completed in 1778. The newly built church was consecrated in the name of St. Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen. After the consecration of the church became officially known Stefanievskaia (named after the apostle). Alsothename "Arhidiakonovskaiachurch" wasused.

Utkinskaya cerkov 1


During its existence Utkinskaia Church had to go through a radical restructuring and reconstruction. In 1835, due to the increased number of parishioners, it was decided to expand the main part of the building in order to increase its capacity. During the repair the appearance and style of church facades has changed completely. In 1857, after the completion of reconstruction, Utkinskaia church became a large five-domed temple in the Russian baroque style, and cruciform on the plan. Southern and northern portals of the church were decorated with the four pillars porticos; the main dome was decorated with double columns. A three-tiered bell tower was constructed on the west side of the church. In 1873 a chapel was built next to the church.

1865 Utkinskaya cerkov 3

   Utkinskaya church was perhaps one of the most revered churches among the churches and cathedrals of the old Tambov. It was connected with the fact that the miraculous image of Tambov Holy Mother was kept in this church and was considered the patron and protector of the city. There is a legend that this icon of the saint was written by the holy Pitirim of Tambov from the image of Ilyinsko-Chernigovskaya Holy Mother. It is from this icon the Utkinskaia church got its other name – Bogorodichnaia (of the Holy Mother).

Utkinskay cerkov 4

At the Soviet period the church was taken over by the ecclesial city community, which had no funds for its maintenance. The church fell into disrepair, besides that, public authorities claimed that the church hinders increasing car traffic. And so, in 1931, the Tambov city executive committee has decided to demolish the Utkinskaia church. The bell tower was destroyed by tractors, and the building of the temple was exploded. After the destruction of the temple the Church’s main relic - the icon of the Holy Mother of the Tambov is considered to be lost.

Utkinskaya cerkov 2