Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul


The Orthodox Church was laid down to the memory of all Russian sailor-submariners, and consecrated on October 11, 2009 by Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’ Kirill

The conception of the church carries the message and idea of foundation of the Eastern Orthodoxy in the north-eastern borders of Russia. There is a white solid construction with a wonderful bell tower rising above the beautiful quiet lake out of the granite grounds. The church epitomizes Russian ‘Bogatyrs’ (warrior heroes of Russian folk epics).  The architectural project was developed by the Russian architect Shapovalova. The site for the church was not chosen by random. In 1721, the tests of the first submarine prototype in Russia (back then known as ‘the hidden ship’) were conducted on the lake near the future church on the orders of the Russian Emperor Peter the Great. In order the commemorate the place and such a memorable event for Russia, a small wooden Chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was laid down there in 2000 upon an initiative of submariners from Sestroretsk. In the chapel base there are capsules with pieces of the ground from all Russian submarine construction sites and base locations. The model of the Hidden Ship built by Russian carpenter Efim Nikonov is located near the church. There is also a Wall of Remembrance with memorable plaques to the memory of all the dead Russian submariners installed on the territory of the church. Quiet and sacred atmosphere of the outskirts of the city as well as its beautiful nature offer quests a possibility to plunge into the world of balance and meditation and acquire a unique prayer state of mind.

Sacred things of the temple:

  • Icon of the Most Holy Mother of the God ‘Vsetsaritsa’ (Pantanassa) – consecrated on the miraculous image in Vatopedsk monastery on the Holy Mount Athos in Greece
  • Holy relics of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The reliquary is a great example of ancient handicraft; relics were earlier stored in the special collection of Vatican City and brought in here on the Church consecration day
  • Holy relics of the Blessed Warrior St. Fyodor Ushakov
  • Holy relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov
  • Icon of the Mother of God ‘Iveron’ painted on the Holy Mount Athos
  • Holy relics and the icon of St. Nectarious of Aegina

At the entrance to the church tourists can see a unique mosaic picture of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. It is made in the ancient technology that implied usage of smalto pieces and such natural stone materials as granite, marble and travertine.

On January 19, the temple hosts the celebration of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Jordan. Annually, on Trinity Sunday a sacred religious procession of the Cross takes place in ‘Dubki’ park in Sestroretsk, starting at the temple and to the Capella.

March 19 in Russia is known as the Day of the Sailor Submariner. Many parishioners, locals and guests of the town, veteran-submariners and current crewmembers on submarines as well as cadets from Kronstadt Naval Cadet Corps and Nakhimov Naval School  come to the church on this day. The prayer service for health of veteran submariners and current submariners is carried out in the church and litiya is conducted at the Wall of Remembrance. The performance of the Soviet-Nazi naval battle usually takes place on the bank of the lake. The performance is implemented by Saint Petersburg military-historical association.

Every August, the Festival of Spiritual Culture ‘Во имя добра’ (Vo imya dobra – For Good) is held near the church on the steps down to the lake.

The archpriest of the church: Archpriest Mikhail Petropavlovsky


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