22/1, Naberezhnaya Str., Tambov +7 (4752) 63-64-68
Тамбовская область
The church of Ven. Ambrose of Optina

The first record of Bolshaya Lipovitsa dates back to 1745. At the turn of the 19th-20th century the village looked like a small town with nearly 5 000 people living in it. There were three brick factories, a college, a school and a hospital. Many orthodox Christians know this village as the motherland of Ven. Ambrose of Optina. Optina elder hieroschemamonk Ambrose (born Alexander Grenkov) was born on November, 23rd, 1812 and during his baptism he was named after the most Orthodox Prince St. Alexander Nevsky. The future elder was raised in strict church and religious environment. He learnt to read using the Slavic ABC book, the Book of Hours and the Psalms. When he grew up, he studied in Tambov religious school and in Tambov theological seminary after.

A year before his graduation he fell seriously ill and vowed that if he recovers, he would retire to the monastery. Four years later, following his vows he left for Optina monastery where he undertook a great deed of eldership.  

In the 19th-20th centuries Optina monastery became the spiritual center of Russia. Not only simple people but the Russian intellectuals too traveled here seeking for the advice of the elders. One of the greatest representatives of the assembly of Optina elders, Ven. Ambrose, became a prototype of Zosima in “The Brothers Karamazov” by F.M. Dostoyevsky. Unfortunately, time had no mercy on the marvelous stone three-altar church of Holy Trinity founded in 1883 in the elder’s home village. The old-timers say that this church was not only famous for its outer beauty but also for the interior design. The church walls were decorated with a great number of wonderful icons while the windows – with the colorful stained glass. During the Soviet years the church was looted and destroyed. The construction of the new church in honor of the Venerable elder of Optina has been completed by 2012 in place of the destroyed Holy Trinity church. The new church has a look of a cuboidal building with triforium, apsis and narthex by three sides. The bell tower is installed above the western narthex. The 41-meters high majestic building is well-seen from any part of the village. The church is an Episcopal church in town. 

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Bolshaya Lipovitsa village, Tambov district, Tambov region
+7 (910) 758-51-81
http://amvrosii.cerkov.ru/
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