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Friday, February 17, 2012

Resurrection Gate

- Our Lady of Iveron, Mount Athos, Greece, the prototype of the he Panagia Portaitissa (Παναγία Πορταΐτισσα, Greek for "Keeper of the Gate")

I'm reading The Defector by Daniel Silva. A lot of it takes place in Russia and Gabriel Allon passes through the Resurrection Gate when he's in Moscow. Here's a bit about the gate and the chapel within it from Wikipedia (and some photos from Wikipedia too) ....

The first stone gate leading to Red Square was erected in 1535, when the Kitai-gorod wall was being reconstructed in brick. When the structure was rebuilt in 1680, the double passage was surmounted with two-storey chambers crowned by two octagonal hipped roofs similar to the Kremlin towers. An Icon of the Resurrection was placed on the gate facing towards Red Square, from which the gate derives its name ....... Since 1669, the wooden chapel in front of the gate (facing away from Red Square) has housed a replica of the miracle-working icon of Panaghia Portaitissa ("keeper of the gate"), the prototype of which is preserved in the Georgian Iveron monastery on Mount Athos. Hence, the name Iversky (that is, "Iberian") that stuck both to the chapel and the gate. In 1781, the Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery constructed a new brick chapel on the spot. The star-splattered cupola of the structure was topped with a statue of an angel bearing a cross.

According to a popular custom, everyone heading for Red Square or the Kremlin visited the chapel to pay homage at the shrine, before entering through the gate. Beggars and outlaws would pray there next to the highest royalty and even the Tsar himself. It was there that the rebel Emelyan Pugachev asked the Russian people for forgiveness a few hours before his execution. The ever-overcrowded chapel, with candles burning day and night, figures in works by Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Bunin, Marina Tsvetayeva, and H.G. Wells, to name only a few.

- the chapel in the gate

- the gate


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