St. Nicholas Church

Dykanka / Dikanka Ukraine

Legend has it that the church was built here after the Archbishop found an icon of St. Nicholas on a tree stump and brought it to his church. The next day it was missing and found back on the tree stump. After this happened more times it was decided to build a church around the tree stump, as it appeared to be a holy place. The tree stump is still at the altar and the miraculous icon is in the church. The first wooden church was built around 1660, another around 1751. This stone church was built in 1794-97. It was a pilgrimage site with three houses for clergy and one for pilgrims. The church survived the 1917 revolution, then in 1930 the surrounding forest was cut down, fence removed, and roadway slabs taken, and the crypt robbed in 1932-33. It was a museum of atheism from 1963 to 1989 and many valuable liturgical items disappeared. The crypt is a mausoleum for the Kochubeev family. Restoration took place in the early 1980s and the church transferred to believers in 1989. It is a state monument and is used for religious services.
Nikolai Gogol was named for the St. Nicholas the Wonderworker icon in this church. After the death of her first son, his mother went to the church and named their next child for the saint. Gogol paid tribute to the church, using it in his series of novels.