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Omsk Oblast , Acair

Achairsky Convent

The convent's story begins with the Arkhangelsk Sorority of the Holy Mother and St. Michael, which appeared near the Cossack village of Achair in the late 1890s. The foundation of the convent itself dates back to 1905, when John of Kronstadt consecrated the area for the construction of the first church. The famous theologian arrived owing to a letter he received fr om Darya Volkova, a local merchant who lost her son in the Russo-Japanese war. Local Cossacks helped building the convent; the money arrived from the Fund of Emperor Alexander III and the Trans-Siberian Railway Construction Fund.

In the late 1920s, many monasteries and the majority of churches were closed and destroyed. Achairsky Convent of the Cross was not an exception. In the 1930s, its territory became a penal colony for political prisoners and criminals, who were taken there by barges and wagons. The colony was designed for 800 to 900 people. The living conditions in the colony were very difficult: unheated barracks with very thin walls and floors, light clothes, thin cotton blankets at -40C degrees of Siberian cold. From 1938 to 1953, only one person managed to successfully escape.

A few days after Stalin's death, the colony was dissolved. Many documents were immediately destroyed and the monastery was blown up.

In 1991, Theodosius, the Archbishop of Omsk and Tatarstan, announced the decision to rebuild the ensemble of Achairsky Convent of the Cross in memory of the victims of those times. Vitaliy Meshcheryakov, the director of the Rechnoy animal farm, located near Achair village, alloted 38 hectares for the construction, in memory of his father, who was a prisoner in this horrible colony.

Passing Cherlaksky highway, one can see the beaming domes of the Dormition Cathedral. The nine domes of the Dormition Cathedral symbolize the Most Holy Mother of God. The cathedral is ornamented in the style of Vasnetsov, and the altar demonstrates a copy of his famous work «Descent from the Cross.»

A summer wooden church (Cathedral of the Holy Faith, Hope, and Charity and their Mother Sophia) was built in 1998 for weddings. Birch, linden, pine, and cedar were used for the outside walls, interior decorations, and the carved iconostasis. The cathedral has a lower altar, wh ere marrying couples and guests always go in order to pray and light candles in honor of Sylvester Olshevsky, the first holy man of Omsk.  The monastery also includes the five-domed Cathedral of the Holy Great Martyr Dmitry Solunsky.

After the Achairsky Convent was founded, a mineral water spring was discovered there. When Christianity turned 2000 years, the new cathedral of John the Baptist on the Waters was dedicated. The cathedral was built for christening ceremonies and has two deep fonts, male and female. Inside the cathedral, there is a cross from which the 37-degree water flows, delivered from a depth of 1,168 meters.

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Address: Omsk Oblast, Omsk region, Achair village

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