The Bryanchaninovs Manor
In 2009 in the Vologda Oblast there was finished restoration of the unique monument of history and culture of the Federal value – the Bryanchaninovs manor in the village Pokrovskoe of the Gryazovetsky District. The works were financed fr om the regional budget with the blessing of the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexius II, who twice – in 1992 and 2007 – visited the native land of the greatest Orthodox theologian – Prelate Ignatii (Bryanchaninov). The control over the restoration work was carried out by the Department of Culture and Protection of Objects of Cultural Heritage and Management on exploitation of monuments of History and Culture of the Vologda Oblast.
Since January, 1, 2009, the manor house in which Prelate Ignatii spent his childhood – originally Dmitry Aleksandrovich Bryanchaninov (1807-1867), is in joint use of the establishment of culture and local orthodox community of the Pokrovsky (Intercession) Temple.
The village Pokrovskoe has become one of the most popular tourist places. Orthodox pilgrims from all Russia visit it.
The history of Pokrovskoe is closely connected with the Bryanchaninov family which started with boyarin Mikhail Brenko who was the sword-bearer of the Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy and who was killed in the Kulikovo Battle. The Bryanchaninovs' lands in Vologda, Gryazovets and Kadnikov districts were first mentioned in the documents of the XVII century. Pokrovskoe was probably granted to the Bryanchaninovs for their participation in the national volunteer corps of 1611-1612.
In 1803 Pokrovskoe with 400 souls of peasants was inherited by Alexander Semenovich Bryanchaninov, the future father of Prelate Ignatii. Then the owner decided to construct a new manor near to the rural churchyard, wh ere all the deceased family representatives had been buried.
It is considered, that the architect of the house, the construction of which was completed in 1812, was a self-educated person Alexander Sapozhnikov. Nevertheless the proportions of his creation were so exact and graceful, so rational, that presently a number of researchers put forward a version that the house in Pokrovskoe was designed by some architect close to the Matvey Kazakov School. At the same time, experts call our attention to some similarity with architectural creations by another known master – Nikolay Lvov.
According to Aleksandra Kupreyanova, Prelate Ignatii's niece, during the raise of economy in 40-50s of the XIX century in Pokrovskoe there were numerous workshops on «weaving, gilding, carving, which were necessary for comfort and satisfaction of the owners' refined taste», small factories and enormous economic services, the kennel with more than 200 dogs, and a menagerie for the celebratory hunting. At that time the area of the lands was up to 1800 dessiatinas (1965 hectare).
In 1918 the last owners of the manor Vladimir and Sofia Bryanchaninovs warned by their peasants about the threat of arrest, emigrated to Czechoslovakia. Then they moved to France and their children in 1945 – to Australia.
Repair – restoration works on the object of Historical and Cultural Heritage began in 1997. The project of restoration of the main house, developed by architect S. B. Kulikov, was based on ancient drawings and sketches of the building, landscape plans of Pokrovskoe, family archives and photos, and also the pictures made in the manor at the beginning of the XX century by the known critic Georgy Lukomsky. Vologda restoration firm «Electra» (general director K. L. Smirnov) contributed a lot to the revival of the monument.
A house with an attic
Alexander Semenovich Bryanchaninov built his patrimonial jack in a new, European manner. The building reminds of a typical French country house of the beginning of the XIX century.
The two-storeyed stone house in the classicism is united by one-storeyed galleries with two wings. Outside it seems small, but actually in it has two floors and an attic. In the attic there are two big rooms. The first one, overlooking the village, used to be a study and a bedroom of the owner, the second one, looking onto the garden, used to be a bedroom and a boudoir of the mistress. The second floor was occupied with children's rooms. Alexander Semenovich and Sofia Afanasyevna Bryanchaninovs had nine children. On the ground floor were: a drawing room, a hall, a study, rooms for visitors, a dining room in which formal receptions and family celebrations, musical, literary and theatrical evenings were held. Governors and ruling bishops are known to come to stay in Pokrovskoe. In the wings there lived maids.
The stucco moldings of the facades give the house its special colour. Attributes of military glory: helmets, banners, peaks, horse heads is a tribute to military merits of the Bryanchaninov family. All elements were reconstructed during restoration work.
The Pokrovsky Temple
The Pokrovsky (Intercession) Temple made of bricks was constructed in the early classicism style in 1810. The internal path – that is no more than twenty steps – separates the house from the church porch.
The community of the Alexander Nevsky Temple in Vologda took care of the church in the 1990s. Its priests conduct divine services in Pokrovskoe on May, 13. That's the day of memory of Prelate Ignatii. A lot of believers from Vologda, Gryazovets and neighboring villages gather here annually to celebrate the Intercession of the Holy Virgin.
To the left of church the family necropolis is located. In 2006 here appeared Vladimir Nikolaevich Brjanchaninov's tomb. The last owner of the manor died in France in 1963, his ashes were transported to Russia by his grand daughter – Tatyana Watson. She annually comes to Pokrovskoe from Australia since 1994. Those who communicated with Tatyana Aleksandrovna, speak about her special love to the Native land.
The park which has survived through the ages …
The manor park in Pokrovskoe is one of the few samples of landscape art of the XVIII-XIX centuries which have come up to our days. The lay-out of the park is set with eight lime avenues, which geometrical lines, being crossed, form a star. The main avenue begins from parterre flower beds at the southern facade of the building and becoming a footpath it goes through the entire park to the pond, which used to be rich in fish. The border of the first and second terraces of the park is formed with a line of fruit trees. In the center of the middle terrace there are earthen banks of the labyrinth close to which once there was a stone grotto created from pebbles. In this part of the park there prevail trees of deciduous species. The bottom terrace presents a wide meadow.
Looking into the future
On July, 24, 2008 the Vologda Oblast Governor E.Pozgalev signed the Concept on Exploitation and Popularization of the Bryanchaninovs manor for 2009-2015, which had been developed by experts of the Vologda Oblast Department of Culture and Protection of Objects of Cultural Heritage. It provides the creation of the cultural – educational and spiritual center on the basis of the Bryanchaninovs manor.
Now in the manor opened the exhibition. There are literary, musical and theatrical evenings, cultural and educational programs for families.