Our friends, who rented premises for their business in Podol’sk (Moscow District), invited us to visit them. They also promised us to show a real marvel, which we had never seen before. We didn’t pay much attention to their words about the marvel, but as we wanted to visit friends, we decided to go there as soon as possible.
After friendly exchange of our opinions and ideas we continued our conversation in the countryside. So, we took the cars and drove away from the town.
It was a real marvel. A beautiful church stood on the high hill. “We drove here specially for you. Few people know about these parts despite its long history. Boyar I. Morosov, the Golitsins, Prince G. Potiomkin, Count A. Mamontov were among the owners of Dubrovitsi Village. Peter I, Ekaterina II, Alexander I, Nikolay II visited this place. The Prince’s Palace, a beautiful park and, of course, the church are well preserved.”
Unfortunately, we don’t know the names of masters and architects of the church. But it is known that tsar Peter I and B. Golitsin (1641-1713), who was the Dubrovitsi owner at that time, were its founders. The Church of the Sign of Our Lady was built on the 22d of July in 1690 on the place of ancient wooden church of Prophet Il’ya. The icon of Our Lady “The Sign” was a patrimony of the Romanovs dynasty. In that way eighteen-year old tsar thanked God for anointing and asked for the force from heaven to run the country. The church is dominated by crown.
After 7 years of construction and several years of interior decoration work the church was opened. On the 11th of February in 1704 it was sanctified by Metropolitan Stefan Yavorsky in the presence of Peter I and tsarevich Alexey. All inhabitants of neighboring villages, who lived at a distance of 50 versts, were invited to the celebrations.
Before the death the village owner Prince B. Golitsin was ordained (by the name of Bogolep) and went away to Florishcheva Roshcha.
In the middle of the 19th century the church was restored by F. Richter and sanctified by Moscow Filaret Drozdov.
In 1930s the service was brought to a stop, the belfry, which was situated not far from the Church, and the church of St. Andrian and Natalia were blown up.
Nowadays, the church is renewing. In 2004 it will be 300 years from sanctifying of the Church of the Sign of Our Lady in Dubrovitsi Village. Certainly, there is no enough money for its restoration. That’s why the parish will be much obliged to any donations for renewing of the church.
This story was told by the church prior (since 1999) Priest Alexander Katkov.