Topic: Oleg Konstantinovich, Prince
On October 3rd, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the Church of St. Oleg Bryansky, the family church of Grand Duke Konstantine Konstantinovich at their estate in the village Ostashevo, situated near Moscow. The plaque marked the 100th anniversary of the burial of Prince Oleg Konstantinovich, who served in the Life Guards Hussar Regiment, and who died 100 years ago from injuries received in battle during the First World War. He was buried in Ostashevo on October 3, 1914.
The Church of St. Oleg Bryansky was built on the banks of the Ruza River in the western part of the estate park as a tomb for Prince Oleg Konstantinovich, and for future use as a mausoleum for other family members. The young prince was very fond of this quiet secluded corner of the park in the suburban estate of his father Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, honorary member of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS). Oleg had expressed a desire to be buried in this spot, and after his death, Emperor Nicholas II granted special permission for the prince’s burial at Ostashevo, and not in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, the traditional burial place of members of the Russian Imperial family.
Prince Oleg Konstantinovich (27 November (O.S. 15 November), 1892 - 12 October (O.S. 29 September), 1914) died in hospital in Vilna (now Vilnius, Estonia), his body was transported by train to Ostashevo. At the funeral, along with other family members was Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, the chairwoman of IOPS.
Completed in late 1916, the church was never sanctified before the Revolution. In the 1920s, the famous art historian, Alexei Nikolaevich Grech visited the estate and later described the state of the church-tomb in his book, Crown Estates (1932). Grech was shocked by the destruction. He noted that “someones' hands had diligently destroyed the foundation stones, as well as the names which were engraved on the graves." In recent years, the church was transferred to the Moscow diocese, and since last year liturgies have been carried out on a regular basis.
On October 3rd, 2014 - one hundred years after his funeral - Prince Oleg Konstantinovich was honoured with a Divine Liturgy, which was headed by Abbot Seraphim (St. Nicholas), dean of the churches of Volokolamsk District, co-served by Archpriest Igor (Bondarev), of the Transfiguration Church.
After the Liturgy, Fr Seraphim gave a sermon on the life and significance of the wartime feats of Prince Oleg Konstantinovich and inaugurated a memorial plaque dedicated to the 100th anniversary of his tragic death. Then Abbot Seraphim and Archpriest Igor served a requiem for the dead soldier, Prince Oleg. The worship service was attended by guests from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Bryansk, Klina and other villages and towns of the Moscow region.
Members of the church memorial event then went to Ostashevo Center for Art and Leisure, where a round table discussion was held in memory of Prince Oleg Konstantinovich. There was also an exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of his death. Initiator of the roundtable M.V. Zaporina opened the round table by reciting lines from the diary of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich in which he bids farewell to his son, followed by recollections of his funeral and burial. Other speakers included A.V. Shchuseva and M.A. Obukhov who talked about the history and construction of the church-tomb on the estate and the creators of Ostashevo, S.N. Smirnov and M. Peretyatkovich.
For more information on Prince Oleg Konstantinovich, please refer to the following article:
© Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 11 October, 2014