Holy Gate with Gate Churches of Epiphany and Venerable Therapont
|Address:||Ferapontovo village, Kirillov district, Vologda region, Russia|
|Place:||Dionysiy Frescoes Museum|
The Holy Gate that divides two worlds - the secular and the monastic – serves as the entrance to the monastery. Two gate arches of different size were used every day and on the feast days.
The Churches of the Epiphany and St. Ferapont were erected above the Holy Gate. All elements of their architecture have come down to us. They are typical tent-shaped buildings of the 17th century, but they are notable for their originality and the picturesque shape of two slender tents. The Holy Gate with the gate churches and the adjoining Treasury Chamber form the central façade of the Ferapontov Monastery.
Inside, both churches form one small rectangle extended from north to south and divided with an arch. The tents on the octagonal bases placed in the middle of the structure are not tied to the system of vaults. Their load is transferred with the help of intricately placed relieving arches – this technique was nowhere else used.
Since 1668, the Church of the Epiphany was a house church of Patriarch Nikon during his exile in the monastery in 1666-1676. Services were performed by a half-blind priest named Varlaam as the former patriarch was stripped of all priestly functions.