The ancient churches of Russia - photo and description

Stone ancient churches began to build after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of Russia.They were first built in the largest cities - Kiev, Vladimir and Novgorod.Most of the cathedrals survived and are the most important architectural monuments.


Old Russian state reached its peak during the reign of Vladimir the Great and his son Yaroslav the Wise.In 988 it was declared the state religion of Christianity.It was of great importance for the further development of feudal relations, the strengthening of the unity of the country, flourishing cultural life, the expansion of relations with Byzantium and other European powers.After the establishment of Christianity in Russia began to build ancient cathedrals of stone.For works invited the best artists of his time, used the artistic and technical achievements of the era.

first stone church - the Tithe - was erected in the center of Kiev under Vladimir the Great.During its construction, the prince was able to significantly strengthen the city and expand its territory.

Byzantine style in the architecture of ancient cathedrals

Russia very often its design resembled Byzantine churches.But soon this art model began to take national peculiarities.

Tithe church was a cross-domed church.The same shape and had Chernigov Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, Sophia Cathedral and others.

consider the characteristic features of Byzantine churches:

  • Cross-domed cathedral is a building topped with a dome, which is strong in four columns.They are sometimes joined by two more (for larger sizes).
  • ancient cathedral resembles a pyramid.
  • to build a temple used special bricks of some form - plinfy that connected via tsemyanki.
  • Windows, as a rule, had a couple of openings and the arch.
  • main attention was focused on the interior of the church.The rich composition outside absent.

characteristic features of ancient architecture

ancient cathedral Russia built on Byzantine models.But over time, the architecture has acquired its national features.

  • temples were much more Byzantine.To do this, build additional galleries around the main building.
  • Instead, the central columns used krestopodobnye large pillars.
  • Sometimes plinfa replaced stone.
  • Scenic design style over time gave way to graphic.
  • the XII century.not used, and the tower gallery and illuminated side Nephi.

Sophia Cathedral

Old Cathedral was built during the heyday of Kievan Rus.In the annals of the foundation of St. Sophia dates back to 1017 or 1037 years.

Cathedral was dedicated to the wisdom of the Christian doctrine and was designed to affirm the greatness of the new religion.In times of Russia settled here cultural and social center of the capital.The cathedral was surrounded by other stone temples, palaces and ordinary urban buildings.

Originally it was a five-naval cross-domed building.Located outside the gallery.The walls of the buildings were built of red brick and the plinth.Sophia of Kyiv, as well as other ancient Russian churches, was decorated with a variety of spans and arches.The interior replete with beautiful frescoes and gilded mosaics.It all gave the impression of great splendor and pomp.Cathedral painted some of the most famous Byzantine masters.

Sophia Cathedral - the only monument of architecture of Ukraine, survived after the invasion of the Mongols in 1240.

Church of the Intercession of the Virgin

Church, located on the banks of the river Nerl, is one of the most famous monuments in the Suzdal.The temple was erected Andrei Bogolyubsky in the XII honor of the new holiday in Russia - Protection of the Virgin.Like many other ancient Russian churches, this church is a cross-domed building on the four pillars.The building is very light and easy.Temple frescoes have not survived to the present day, as they were destroyed during the reconstruction at the end of the XIX century.

Kremlin in Moscow

Moscow Kremlin - the most famous and oldest architectural monument in the capital of Russia.According to legend, the first wooden fortress was built even when Yuri Dolgoruky in the beginning of the XII century.Ancient cathedrals of the Kremlin are the most famous in Russia and still attracts tourists with its beauty.

Assumption Cathedral

first stone cathedral in Moscow - Assumption.It was built by the Italian architect during the reign of Ivan III at the highest point of the Kremlin hill.In general, the building is similar to other ancient churches of Russia: cross-dome model, the six pillars and five chapters.It is based in the construction and decoration of the temple was taken Assumption in Vladimir.The walls were built of iron bonds (instead of the traditional oak), which was a novelty for Russia.

Assumption Cathedral was intended to emphasize the greatness of the Moscow State and to demonstrate its power.It held church councils, elected Metropolitan, married to the reign of Russian rulers.

Annunciation Cathedral

At a time when Moscow was still a small principality on the site of an ancient temple of the Annunciation Cathedral.In 1484, construction began on a new building.For its construction were invited by Russian architects from Pskov.In August 1489 rose snow white trehkupolny temple, surrounded by a large gallery on three sides.If
Assumption Cathedral was the religious center of the principality, which held important spiritual and political ceremony, the house of the Annunciation was the royal church.In addition, it kept the state treasury of great rulers.

Archangel Cathedral

This ancient monument is a temple-tomb, which holds the remains of prominent figures of Russia.Here are buried Ivan Kalita, Dmitry Donskoy, Ivan the Terrible, Vasily the Dark, SHUISKI and others.

Archangel Cathedral was built in 1508 by Italian architect Aleviz.Master arrived in Moscow at the invitation of Ivan III.

It should be noted that the Archangel Church is not like other ancient churches located on Red Square.He reminds a secular building, the design of which there are ancient motifs.Archangel Cathedral is a cross-domed five-domed building with six columns.During construction the first time in the history of Russian architecture was used two-story warrant for the design of the facade.

Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye

church was erected in 1532 in honor of the birth of Ivan the Terrible.It places a beautiful building on the banks of the Moscow River.Church of the Ascension is fundamentally different from other Russian cathedrals.In form it is equal-cross and is the first model of hip architecture in Russia.