Until 1731, the chambers above the gate were shared by the neighbouring Mint and the Central Drug Store. After Mikhail Lomonosov founded the Moscow University in the latter structure, the university press moved into the gate chambers. Nikolay Novikov, who ran the press in the late 18th century, turned the second storey into his headquarters.
Since 1669, the wooden chapel in front of the gate (facing away from Red Square) has housed a replica of the miracle-working icon of Panaghia Portaitissa ("keeper of the gate"), the prototype of which is preserved in the Georgian Iveron monastery on Mount Athos. Hence, the name Iversky (that is, "Iberian") that stuck both to the chapel and the gate. In 1781, the Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery constructed a new brick chapel on the spot. The star-splattered cupola of the structure was topped with a statue of an angel bearing a cross.
According to a popular custom, everyone heading for Red Square or the Kremlin visited the chapel to pay homage at the shrine, before entering through the gate. Beggars and outlaws would pray there next to the highest royalty and even the Tsar himself. It was there that the rebel Emelyan Pugachev asked the Russian people for forgiveness a few hours before his execution. The ever-overcrowded chapel, with candles burning day and night, figures in works by Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Bunin, Marina Tsvetayeva, and H.G. Wells, to name only a few.
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