The Church of All Saints na Kulichkakh lies near the place where Varvarka Street, one of the oldest and best-known in Moscow, ends.
In 1687, the stone church was rebuilt from the cathedral and the belfry, erected by the Russian Prince Dmitry Donskoy to commemorate the victory of the Russians in the Battle of Kulikovo.
The name of the church
According to a legend, the Church of All Saints na Kulichkakh was built by Prince Dmitry Donskoy to commemorate all the Russian warriors who had been killed in the Battle of Kulikovo. If you say “the Church na Kulichkakh” and “the Battle of Kulikovo” in Russian, you will certainly hear some phonetic similarity. This explanation of the church name is quite popular but not proved.
Other sources suggest that the name “Kulichki” originated from the old Russian word “kochel” (literally translated as a purse), which stands for a birchbark or leather bag for money or similar items.
The third version says that the word “Kulichki” meant flood hay meadows in the Old Russian language.
With the devil on Kulichkakh
Being in Moscow you can often hear the phrase “U cherta na Kulichkakh” (with the devil on Kulichkakh) that can be translated as “in the middle of nowhere”.
Today the territory named “Kulichki” with the Church of All Saints na Kulichkakh lies in the very heart of expanded Moscow. Several centuries ago the area “Kulichki” was situated behind the Kitay-gorod walls, so the citizens of old Moscow thought it was far away from the city center.
The interior of the Church of All Saints na Kulichkakh
In the beginning of the 20th century the Soviet authorities fought against any kind of religion and closed the church. As a result, the interior of the church was destroyed.
After that the church was controlled by national security bodies of the USSR. Archaeologists even found the remains of the people gunned down in its basement. These victims were later memorized in a special cross erected in the church.
Nowadays the church interior was restored thanks to numerous contributions and amazes visitors with its rich ornamentation.
The Church of Alexandria in the Church of All Saints na Kulichkakh
According to a legend, Mark Evangelist founded the Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Alexandria (Egypt) in the 1st century A.D. Nowadays this church brings together the Orthodox Christian community in Africa. In 1999, the metochion (representative establishment) of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Alexandria was moved to the Church of All Saints na Kulichkakh.
If you plan to visit the Church of All Saints na Kulichkakh, you should also take a walk along one of the oldest streets in Moscow, namely Varvarka Street. The church is situated on the square near the Varvarka Gate.