Monday, June 27, 2011

302nd Anniversary of the Battle of Poltava

The main event of this year folk festival dedicated to the 302nd anniversary of the Battle of Poltava is an opening an access for the public to the grave chapel located in the common grave of the Russian warriors killed in the decisive battle of the Great Northern War.

The chapel, named St. Peter and Paul Chapel in honour of the apostles, was consecrated to God on September 3, 1907. In the 1930s a pig-breeding research institute was established near the common graves, and the grave chapel was turned into a storage facility for fuel and chemicals in accordance with decision signed by then director of the institute. This resulted in the destruction of the ventilation system and all of the wall paintings. The walls themselves began to disintegrate because of the dampness and chemical fumes. Although the chapel was repaired several times after WWII, its unique interior has been lost forever. For a period of time the chapel was turned into a simple, somber memorial hall, with a grave stone its only decoration.