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Yaroslavl Oblast , Uglich

Church of Tsarevich Dmitry on the Blood

Церковь царевича Димитрия «на крови»
Туристский информационный центр "Углич"
Церковь царевича Димитрия «на крови»
Туристский информационный центр "Углич"
Церковь царевича Димитрия «на крови»
Туристский информационный центр "Углич"
Церковь царевича Димитрия «на крови»
Туристский информационный центр "Углич"
Церковь царевича Димитрия «на крови»
Туристский информационный центр "Углич"
Церковь царевича Димитрия «на крови»
Туристский информационный центр "Углич"

Built at the site of the tragic death of Ivan the Terrible's infant son tsarevich Dmitry, the Church of Tsarevich Dmitry on the Blood is undoubtedly the best known church in Uglich.

A small chapel was built here right after the death of the tsarevich. It was there for a short time, until the town was devastated by the Poles in 1611. The wooden hip-roof church of Tsarevich Dmitry and the warm (winter) Church of Michael the Archangel nearby were constructed in 1630 in its place. The church contained a tomb that had been moved over the very place where the blood of Dmitry was spilled.  According to legend, blood came out of the earth each time on the anniversary of Dmitry's death. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, who visited Uglich in 1654, saw this miracle, but at an inopportune time. Struck by what he saw, he donated a cross to the church icon.

A new stone church, in which the ground floor was the Church of Michael the Archangel and the upper floor — the church of Tsarevich Dmitry, was built in place of the wooden one in 1692. It was built in the bright Moscow style characteristic of the time.

The drop-forged door (17th century) made of «plank-iron» and the floor covered in the 18th century with cast iron plates are preserved in the church refectory.  The interior was decorated in 1778 by the craftsman Peter Khlebnikov with the pictures from the biblical legends on the Creation of the World and the Fall of Adam and Eve and Their Expulsion.

A large composition on Uglich events dated May 15, 1591, occupies the western wall of the church. The relics connected with the death of tsarevich Dmitry are exposed here as well, including the mica lamp, litter, and shrine in which the relics of the tsarevich were carried in 1606 from Uglich to Moscow. The iconostasis built in 1867 holds the old icon of Holy Mother of Smolensk, a contribution by tsar Mikhail Fedorovich to the first wooden church in 1630. The rare subscribed icon Christ Pantocrator was made in the Armory in 1696.

The exiled bell of Uglich can be called the most outstanding exhibit of the church. It was a participant of the tragic event on May 15, 1591, and tolled the death of the tsarevich. Rousing the citizens with its tolling and calling upon them to the riot against the people of Boris Godunov, the bell was thrown down from the chapel as if it had been a person, deprived of the sign of the cross, of the tongue, and of one ear, was beaten 12 times with whips, and exiled to Tobolsk. The dwellers of Uglich many times tried to return the alarm bell to its homeland. They managed to do it only at the end of the 19th century. On May 20 (June 3), 1892, a steamboat carrying the alarm bell moored at the quay opposite the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. The citizens welcomed it shouting «Hurray!».

The inscription on the bell reads: «This bell tolled the murder of right-believing tsarevich Dmitry. In 1593 it was sent from Uglich to exile to Tobolsk, to the Church of Savior, and later was moved to the clock of Sofia's Chapel.»

Currently one of the departments of Uglich State Historical, Architectural, and Art Museum is situated in the Church of Tsarevich Dmitry on the Blood.

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