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According to clerical records, the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Markovo dates back to 1811, although its architectural features suggest that it could have been built as far back as the 1750s.

The church has three altars: the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God in the central one, the Presentation of the Lord in the northern one, Holy Great Martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki in the southern one.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the parish embraced 34 villages, a total of 45 households. Seven chapels were subordinate to the parish church.

It was closed down in 1937.

The Soviet troops were to destroy the church as they were retreating during the Great Patriotic War, but the Germans were advancing too quickly, and they had no time to blow it up.

The German occupation troops used it as a stable; after the Belebelkovsky District was cleared from the Nazis, from February 1944 to 1947, it was used for repair shops.

However, in 1948, restoration began, with local people contributing icons, church utensils, and liturgical books.

A copy of the miraculous Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God had been preserved.

Church services resumed in 1953, and a family from Bolshiye Yazvishchi brought back the shroud they had preserved: the relic ended up in the family after a church fire in 1928 and was evacuated to Omsk.

That shroud is a locally revered relic now.

This church is subordinate to the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Poddorye

Official website:

Patronal feasts: 10 August - Icon of Smolensk Mother of God Hodegetria

Schedule of worship: Once every month, Confession at 9 am, Liturgy at 9.30 am

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