Baikal Irkutsk Trans Siberian

Listvyanka: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church 

The Saint Nicholas village lies at the Angara outflow right in front of Listvyanka settlement which is located further along the Baikal coast.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church dates back to the XIX-th century, and it has got an interesting history. According to a legend Saint Nicholas church was built on money of Russian merchant Ksenofont Serebryakov. He sailed across the lake and nearly wrecked. He was saved by miracle as he started to prey to Saint Nicholas, the protector of seafarers. At the last moment of dying legendary merchant felt someone’s hand that took him by collar and put on the ground. He saw Saint Nicholas helping him. As a sign of deep gratitude he promised to build a church in honor of his protector.

The construction of Saint Nicholas church began during the merchant’s lifetime and was finished by his widow Natalya a few years after his death. The church stood at the shore of the lake for more than a century. With the construction of the Irkutsk Hydropower Station the water level in Angara and Baikal raised so the church was carried to a different place to prevent from being flooded. Krestovaya Pad’ (Hollow) which is in Listvyanka settlement is now a new home for St. Nicholas Orthodox church. Now, it stands 500 meters (1,650 ft) from the waterside at Krestovka creek valley.

It is the only church on the shore of Lake Baikal, and one of a few churches in Irkutsk Region that survived gloomy communist time. In the 1950s the church was restored and completed with icons from churches of Irkutsk. Old traditions are not forgotten and divine services are held regularly on days-off and on Orthodox holidays.
Listvyanka: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

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