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The history

 

The history of the Orthodox Parish under the summons

 of the GOD’S CHANGE (Przemienienie Panskie).

The Orthodox Church appeared in Plock in the 30's of the XIX century. Event this was connected with social and political changes in functioning of the Polish Kingdom.

After the fall of The November rise the Field Marshal Ivan Paskiewicz who in the prize for muffling Polish for national independence fights received the duke of Warsow title became the Governor. The tsar Mikolay I annulled, already not obeyed constitution from 1815, solved the Lower House, liquidated the Polish army and separate coronation in the Warsaw. The war state was introduced in 1833 that lasted for 25 years. The Russians arriving from the Empire which in the main measure confessed Orthodox Church began to occupy offices.

Changes also hugged Plock. In 1834 the president of The Province committee became Russian Aleksy Bołgowski. In the place of the done away Polish army, to barracks situated in the former Norbertan monastery near Warszawska Street, the Russian army was introduced.

The change of the programmes of the teaching at schools was one of after independence fights repressions. At Province High school in Plock (renamed in 1837 as the result of administrative changes into Governy High school), new subjects were introduced: Russian, literature, history and the geography of the Russia and Orthodox Church singing. Subjects these were initially laid out by Poles.

The next step of the Russification was calling Russian Basil Rklicki in 1842 on position of the manager of the Gubernial High School confessing Orthodox Church [1]. Russian sounding surnames appeared among the teachers, but these persons, with small except, did not stay in Plock for long. On 17 March 1855, during the folding the oath on faithfulness ascending on the throne tsar Alexander II, at Gubernial High school in Plock has worked four teachers of the orthodox confession. [2] In 1861, among ministers and the religion teachers appeared first lecturer of the orthodox religion - ks. A. Strukowski [3].

As far the statistics are concerned, on 1 January 1872 in at Gubernial High school on 19 teachers, there were 3 of orthodox confession: Nicolas Argejew (the inspector helper, the teacher of Russian language and literature, the history of Russia and Polish Kingdom and geography), Spirydon Elmanowicz (the teacher of Russian language and literature, the history of Russia and Polish Kingdom and geography), protojerej Włodzimierz Iwanowicz Stabnikow (the teacher of the orthodox religion) [4]. In this time at Gubernial High school there were 363 pupils 17 of who confessed the Orthodox Religion [5]

The Russian army stationed in Plock and then the inflow of the civil population of the orthodox confession contributed to the device of the first Orthodox Church. It was created on the terrain of the barracks and was served by the military chaplain.

First civil persons of orthodox confession settled down in Plock in 1836. Initially there were only 5 persons [6], and three years later already 248 (in this 229 men and 19 women) [7]. According to archives 187 from them were employed at offices (in The War Chief Office, in the office of Square Commander Officer and in the food store-house. We read on the card attached to the statistical list: the  population of the Greek – Russian confession has no parish priest, but there still is the Linear aspect of army from the Active Army in Plock, there are regimental chaplains and even and the Orthodox Church prepared in the buildings of the barracks where also civilians attend on prayers[8]. In site of the inflow of the population of the orthodox confession there still was no parish in Plock but only regimental chaplains.

 Organization of the places of the burial for the deceased of orthodox confession was begun in 1834: „Cemetery this lays near Dobrzyńska Street, near by the Catholic cemetery, the entranceis through the gate paint in red and closed on the key” [9]. In 40's of the XIX century works over establishing of the orthodox cemetery were begun. The place was marked opposite War­szawska Street, beyond alleys and trenches surrounding the city. First burials took place in 1842. Next years flowed away on fencing the cemetery (the fence was made from the street and the earth rampart from remaining three sides). Small Orthodox Church was built in 1871 on the cemetery under the St. Archangel Michael call. The area of the cemetery was enlarged in 1894. [10]

The idea of building of Orthodox Church in Plock, not connected with stationed army, appeared in 1856.[11] In Plock Governy already existed two Orthodox churches: in „Russian colonies” near Modlin (Pomiechówek) and in Mlawa.[12] The Warsaw archbishop Arsenij introduced the necessity of the building of Orthodox church in Plock. The contemporary governor of The Polish Kingdom, count Michael Gorczakow, denied the request. He motivated his decision with the limited financial funds.

In this time (1859), in Plock 23 people of the orthodox confession and the parish-priest lived on solid. [13] It can be concluded that even though request about permission on the building of Orthodox Church was denied the orthodox parish in Plock became established.

The archbishop Arsenij renewed the request about the agreement on the building of Orthodox Church in Plock. The Plock Governy War chief pronounced a favorably opinion this to idea. It is shown by the letter of the Civil Governor of the Plock Governy Ignacy Bońkowski dated on 19/31 January 1858 r. „The Plock Governy War chief announced on 16/28 January with letter no. 399 that new Orthodox Church should be built and that newly arrived Dean of the Orthodox Churches X. Nowicki together with the War Chief have decided that the best place to build new Church is square at Kolegialna street 24 opposite Kozlowski hotel belonging to the CityCash Office. On this basis the Gubernial Government commands the Municipality not to lease this square to anyone. [14] It however did not come to the building of Orthodox Church then.

After the fall of The January rise, Chief War of Plock Circle, General-lieutenantWłodzimierz Semeka renewed the request about permission on the building of Orthodox Church in Plock. As he passes in his work protojerej Liwotow, in Plock lived then not more than 45 civil persons of the orthodox confession. The governor of the Kingdom, Theodor Berg not only referred to the general Semeki project favorably, but he introduced it to the acceptance to Alexander II. The tsar approved of the request and gave on the building of Orthodox church 5.000 rubles, and Governor Berg from funds designed at his disposal – 10.000 rubles. It was intended moreover 4.391 rubles saved from the fund on maintenance of the barracks in Plock, 3.747 rubles sent by the orthodox clergy from the terrain of the whole Russia and 1.673 rubles gathered among military and civil officials in the country. Sum of 999 rubles gathered by military and civil officials from Plock Governy for celebration of miraculous rescue of the tsar from assault on his life on 4 April 1864 was intended on the casting of the bell.

The construction of The Orthodox Church started. The project of Orthodox Church was created by the architect helper at The Government committee of Internal and Clerical Matters, Bronisław Brodzic-Żochowski, and the works were supervised by the Governor architect Józef Górski. The building was led by qualified especially to this aim the Orthodox Church Building Committee Orthodox in Plock under leadership of the Governy chief.

The place under Orthodox Church was marked in the most exhibited place in Plock, on Florian's square from the side of Warsaw Street. The corner stone was dedicated on 20 June (2 July) 1865. Construction works took 2 years. The solemn devotion of the temple by Warsaw and Nowogeorgijewski (Modliński) Archbishop Joannik took the place 18 September (30 September) 1867. The members of The Orthodox church Building committee took part in it with Governor Michael Wrangle, the parish-priest ks. Włodzimierz Stabnikow, Chief Plock Scientific Management A. Popow and presiding of the Ownership Matters committee captain-lejtnant Ł. Ponomariew. [15].

The temple was built on the plan of the cross of the length 78 feet and width 58 feet, height from the basis to the ceiling 29 feet. It was designed for 400 praying. Two towers topped with gilt crosses rose over the building. The height of the main tower on the crossing of naves topped onion-shaped helmet was 86 feet, and the height of belfry over the vestibule of the main entry – 77 feet. The roof was covered with iron sheet metal, and both towers English sheet metal painted on the blue colour, and decorated with gold stars.

The final cost of the building was about 34.000 rubles. 26763 roubles was given on the building of Orthodox church itself, however on iconostas, icons, the Orthodox Churches utensil, panikadiło, candlesticks, the bells and on the transportation of this all from Petersburg – 6.834 the rubles, on the realization of drainage under Orthodox church in the aim of getting rid of  excess of water – the ­390 of rubles. After finishing the building of the temple the attached land was cleaned and decorated with green. [16]

On 26 March 1885 the temple was renamed to cathedral and the number of orthodox clergy to service it was enlarged. Whole Plock administrative district came in the jurisdiction of the parish. It counted 1.180 faithful in 1897.

After 25 years Orthodox Church appeared to be too small. Not counting armies parishioners number grew up to 1000 persons. Need of building new temple or extension of old one appeared. Gigantic funds were necessary on building new so it was decided that more suitable is to extend old. Governor architect Józef Górski and the parish-priest protojerej of Jerzy Liwotow prepared the project of the reconstruction.

The Plock governor Iliodor Janowicz patronized the reconstruction. According to the project temple should hold 1050 persons, and estimated cost of reconstruction was 20.000 rubles.

The reconstruction started in May 1893–the cross was taken off from bell tower and began the demolition of the unnecessary elements of Orthodox Church. The corner stone under new walls was placed in on 6(18) June. Works were led in the economic system under the management of the Orthodox Church Building committee with the commander of 1 Brigade of Archers General-lieutenant Michael Christoforowicz Leo. The author of the project Górski Józef supervised the works, and after his death in the December 1894, his successor on the position of the governor architect - Bolesław Zienkiewicz together with the conductor Antoni Wysoki. The works were directed by Bricklayer foreman Myszkowski and carpenter foreman Francis Przymanowski.

New Orthodox Church also had the form of the cross about the length 1083/4 foot, width 682/3 foot and height 253/4 foot. It was already built in the entirely clean Russian style. The front elevation of the temple was clearly stressed; many decorative details were introduced (especially typical for architecture Russian kokosznik's). The bell tower became the dominant element, and two lower towers had the decorative character. Dome on the crossing of naves was raised on the octagonal drum, covered the onion-shaped helmet. On sides it had four turrets covered with pointed roofs. Six entries led to the Orthodox Church. Along the whole front of the building there was a terrace with the seven-step stairs. Smaller terraces were in front of other entries to the temple.

The interior of Orthodox Church was designed in the Russian-Byzantine style. Walls and ceilings were decorated with relief's. Some parts of walls and supporting the ceilings poles were done in marble and malachite, and the rest was painted green with oil paint. The choir gallery was richly decorated. The old iconostas was enlarged and decorated with gold ornaments. The Orthodox Church was consecrated on 15 October 1895 by the Chełmsko-Warsowian archbishop Flawian. The total cost of the reconstruction was 24.000 rubles.

Beyond the Orthodox church on The Florian's square and Orthodox church on the orthodox cemetery, There were still four other smaller orthodox churches in Plock: in the prison, at Governor High school and two in the barracks[17].

The out break of the World War I provoked changes in functioning of the orthodox parish in Plock. In the beginning of 1915 Russian administration and the part of the orthodox clergy evacuated from the city. In January 1916 German government closed the Orthodox Church [18] It was designed on the church for the army. In end of March 1916 German military chaplains began to serve Catholic messes there for their soldiers.

After recovery of the independence Polish government decided to intend Orthodox Church on the church for the stationing in Plock military garrison [19]. On 5 March 1919 Orthodox Church was taken over by the army. Altars, paintings, candlesticks from the temple were given to the orthodox population. The participant of this event, Maria Macieszyna, describes it in her diary so: „the whole orthodox nation gathered In the Orthodox church.

 There are about 500 people of orthodox confession in Plock. Three ministers with dispersed hair gave the orders. Craftsmen took apart beautifully carved altars. Some among the nation cried, particularly the women born here. (...) Destroying of the altars, depressing clerical in wiped strongly cassocks, broken down hands and full of pain parishioners made terribly unpleasant impression.”[20]

On 19 March 1919 the chaplain of the garrison ks. Felix Słonicki dedicated the former Orthodox Church on the garrison church [21].

Several years later flared up the discussion over the future of Plock Orthodox church. Voices appeared to destroy the temple. The matter took Dramatic effect in the half of 1924, when the dome bent down on the former Orthodox church and the urgent repair was necessary[22]. The church was closed temporarily, but thanks to ks. Ignacy Lasocki the repairs began soon. The roof of the temple was restored, changes in the interior were made and the external reconstruction of the church was designed. The repair was finished in spite of the financial difficulties. Solemn open of the temple was on 11 November 1924.

In 1928 restoring works started aiming at taking off the towers and orthodox crosses, the demolition of former Orthodox Church [23]. This happened from the initiative of the Municipality of City Plock. At the meeting on 15 September 1928 the contemporary president of Plock Stefan Zbrożyna proposed taking apart former Orthodox Church. The„Plock journal” wrote on 16 December 1929 about the end of the demolition of former Orthodox Church and about finding in her foundations of the tin with foundation act and five coins inside it. [24]

 After taking over the Orthodox Church by Polish military powers functions of the Orthodox Church were taken over by the God's Change chapel, situated in the building of the former after-Dominican monastery. Since 90's of the XIX century a nursery for orthodox children was situated there.

 In years 30's of the XX century, chapel at the Warsowian Street was thoroughly rebuild and decorated with artistically made iconostasis after arrival to Plock of protojerej Viktor Karwowski. New iconostas were considerably smaller than those in former Orthodox Church and needed partly new icons. They were painted by Plock artist Aleksy Kiriuszyn coming from the Russian orthodox family.

 Plock Orthodox parish was governed by such parish priests: 

1867- 1887

-

ks. Włodzimierz Stabnikow

1887 –1904

-

ks. Jerzy Liwotow

1904 -1906

-

ks. Eudoksjusz Biełanowskij

1906 - 1913

-

ks. Joann Rajewiez

1913 - 1923

-

ks. Aleksander Kiedrowskij

1923 - 1929

-

ks. Aleksy Subotin

1929 - 1933

-

ks. Roman Kostanowicz

1933 -1939

-

ks. Wiktor Karwowski

1939 - 1945

-

ks. hieromnich Teodor (Chraszczewskij)

1945 - 1966

-

ks. Walenty Kraśnikow

1966 - 1972

-

ks. Józef Łysynkiewicz

1972 - 1977

-

ks. Paweł Kanończuk

1977 - 1993

-

ks. Wiktor Jacewicz

since 7 kwietnia 1993 -

-

ks. Eliasz Tarasiewicz

[1] Archiwum Państwowe w Płocku (dalej: APP), zespół Gimnazjum Męskiego w Płocku (dalej: GMP), sygn. 11, k. 3.

[2] APP,GMP, sygn. 7, k. 191.

[3] APP, GMP, sygn. 10, k. 289.

[4] APP, zespół Płocka Dyrekcja Naukowa, sygn. 36, k. 10-11.

[5] Tamże, k. 8.

[6] APP, zespół Magistrat Miasta Płocka (dalej: MMP), sygn. 63, k. 20.

[7] Tamże, k. 26.

[8] Tamże, k. 27.

[9] Tamże, k. 39.

[10] J. Liwotow, Spaso – Preobrażeńskaja Sobornaja Cerkow w gub. Gor. Płockie, w: Pamiatnaja kniżka Płockoj Guberni na 1899 h., otdieł III Pryłożenije, s. 18.

[11] Tamże, s. 3.

[12] APP, Akta Departamentu Płockiego, sygn. 344, b.n.k.

[13] A. M. Stogowska, Opis topograficzny i statystyczno – historyczny miasta Płocka z 1860 roku, w: Płocki Rocznik Historyczno - Archiwalny, t. IV, Płock 1998, s. 75, 98.

[14] APP, MMP, sygn. 63, k. 150.

[15] J. Górski, Prawosławnaja Cerkow wo imia Preobrażenija Hospodnia w Horodle Płockie, 1867.

[16] APP, MMP, sygn. 63, k. 185.

[17] A.J. Nowowiejski, Płock. Monografia historyczna, wyd. II, Płock 1931, s. 160.

[18] M. Macieszyna, Pamiętnik płocczanki, Płock 1996, s. 28.

[19] „Kurier Płocki”, nr 43/23 II 1919.

[20] M. Macieszyna, s. 440-441.

[21] „Kurier Płocki”, nr 65/21 III 1919.

[22] „Dziennik Płocki”, nr 145/26 IV 1924, nr 150/2 VII 1924.

[23] Biblioteka im. Zielińskich, Korespondencja Departamentu Budownictwa Ministerstwa Spraw Wojskowych z Dowództwem Okręgu nr 1 Warszawa; Okręgowego Szefostwa Budownictwa Warszawa z Departamentem Budownictwa Ministerstwa Spraw Wojskowych; Komendy Garnizonu Płockiego  z Ministerstwem Spraw Wojskowych, III-X 1928, niesygnowane.

[24] „Dziennik Płocki” nr 264/16 XII 1929.

 

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