In the center of Moscow, in China town, sheltered in the Staropansky alley is a church of St. Cosmas and Damian. It is currently listed as a monument of history and architecture of 19-20th centuries under the title “The Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Old Panei”.
According to some sources, the church was a home church of Moscow Shein boyars, whose premises were located on Ilinka street and extended till the Sxaropansky alley (formerly Kosmodemyansky alley).
The first mention of the church being wooden was in 1468, however, after 1564 the church became stone made. After the October Revolution, in 1925, the Church of St. Cosmas and Damian was closed and intended for demolition due to the expansion of the building of then “Prombank”. In 1926, The Moscow Monuments commission, headed by the academician Igor Grabar and including architect D. P. Suhov on top of other reputable parties, identified the church as one of the oldest monuments of Moscow's history and architecture that is subject to conservation and restoration.
In 1927, the church was reinstated. However, later in 1931 due to active anti-religious campaign the recovered tents were dismantled, decorative elements were removed, and the church building was deprived of the status of a monument. Up to 1994, the building housed various government agencies when the complex was transferred to the Patriarchal monastery in China-town. However, after that the General Directorate of Monuments in Moscow newly identified the church as a historical and cultural monument.
1994 was also the year when ABD architects started exploring monuments that needed for the development of the restoration project. Extensive field studies were made on the monument, furthered by archaeological studies and historical and archival research. In the course of the works, a wall painting was found in the South Temple. Based on the results of all these studies, a preliminary design was developed for the architectural restoration of the monument, which was reviewed and approved by the visiting Scientific and Methodological Council at GUOP Moscow in May 1995. The project was recommended for implementation.
Restoration and reconstruction work on the monument “Church of St. Cosmas and Damian in Old Panei” is carried out in stages by RPM (Restoration Workshop) “Ilinka”.