Story with photos. The repercussions of being.

When we walk along the embankment of the Volga River in the city of Kostroma, we often pass by a beautiful white church, which is located in a small side street. This lane is called Mill and the temple is the Church of the Ascension of the Lord on Debra.

The word Debra in Russian means a dense impenetrable forest. Apparently here in antiquity there was just such a forest along the banks of the Volga River. By the way, the Volga in those days was not so wide. Since, due to human actions, the Volga River has been heavily blocked by dams recently and has turned into one large reservoir or, one might say, a flowing lake.

Today there is no forest. This is the very center of the city. If you walk 50 meters from the Temple to the banks of the Volga River, you will see a view of the river itself and the embankment, which the city puts in order.

A little further is a large bell tower on the Kremlin hill. This construction is coming to an end.


But back to our temple of the Ascension is not Debra.

Now it stands white and smart, glitters with gold of crosses from green domes and pleases the eye. And I still remember the times when I climbed into the remains of temple walls and saw the bare brick walls as a location for filming.

Then I took pictures on film and dragged a large black leather wardrobe trunk with me. In it lay my camera, lenses, rollers with film, flashes and a lot of stuff. The wardrobe trunk was very heavy, but it only added to my sensation that I was a real photographer.

The temple, even destroyed, has some sacred power. Maybe the architecture of such a structure itself is directed upwards, there may be a genetic memory of worship of the gods, but something in those walls did not give me rest.

The history of this temple is quite long.

As usual, before a stone temple was built here, a wooden church existed at this place.

In the second half of the 17th century, a beautiful stone church was built instead of this wooden church. Then a refectory and a bell tower were attached to it. Later, a porch was added.

Bad times began in 1930. The temple was closed and, in addition, was transferred to a hostel and dining room. Beautiful roof tops were shot down. The bell tower was also destroyed.

After World War II, the hostel was closed and a two-story residential building was made of the remains of the church.

Only in 1986, work began on returning the temple to its normal appearance. Residents were resettled and even began to engage in restoration, but with the advent of difficult times in the early nineties, all this stopped.

The difficult economic situation in the country made the restoration of the church completely impossible. The temple stood without people and gradually collapsed. Everything around was littered with construction debris through which nettle and shrubs sprouted.

And just at that moment I was there. It was interesting for me to get inside an abandoned temple and inspect everything there. What I saw convinced me that it was worthwhile to find some model and arrange shooting in the interiors of red brick walls.

So I did. I met a girl right on the street and invited her to pose inside the ruins.

It was very strange for her and I had to use all my eloquence to persuade her. Imagine that you are being led somewhere into an abandoned building, instead of being led to a cozy cafe. But it was not a date.

I managed to persuade my casual model and I took some photos. Then I myself was engaged in the development and printing of my photographs.

With black and white photographs there were no problems at all. With color film, much more different knowledge and skills were needed. All this was more than 20 years ago. I found photos in my drawer, which were made in those years. Several pieces have survived.

Today the temple is restored and conducts services.

It is pleasant to walk around the city and see its ancient Russian architecture and rejoice that it has not disappeared, that the temple has remained in the city, and that it again warms the souls of people.



This is important for me, as this is the history of my city and my personal history. All this intertwined into one ball of our common history, in which there was both good and bad. But all this is valuable to me.