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Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky


The reconstruction of Assumption Cathedral of 1158–1160 in Vladimir



Published in Russian: Заграевский С.В. Реконструкция Успенского собора 1158–1160 годов во Владимире. В журн.: «Реставратор», № 1(8)/2004. М., 2004. С. 118-122. 





Scientific critique of the reconstruction of the original forms of Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir, proposed by N.N. Voronin in the early 1960-s, is given by Professor S.V. Zagraevsky. A new graphic reconstruction, which takes into consideration initial five domes of the Cathedral and the presence of one stair tower, is offered.




The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.




SO Timofeeva, poet and historian of architecture


"Stereotypical" option for reconstruction of the Dormition Cathedral, built in Vladimir Andrei Bogolyubsky, today is contained in the fundamental work Voronin, "Architecture of North-Eastern Russia XII-XV centuries"1 (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1. The Cathedral of the assumption. Reconstruction Voronin.


But in the reconstruction Voronin immediately striking discrepancy axonometric plan of the Cathedral. In the axonometric drawings are not given the arches (availability identified archaeological research, described in the work Voronin2)and stair tower illustrated two-volume (South combined with a hypothetical "Bishop's room", and the North - with an equally hypothetical "house"). But on the plan already shown and the arches, and one stair-tower.

The presence of such an obvious contradiction in terms and axonometry, albeit briefly stated N.N. Voronin (axonometric represents "the initial experience of reconstruction"3: apparently, the new axonometric drawings, corresponding to the plan, just no time to prepare before delivery of the manuscript), causes confusion. For example, in a modern textbook on the history of Russian art%D4 реконструкция Н.Н.Воронина, в которой аксонометрия не соответствует плану, приведена безо всяких оговорок.

So, our reconstruction of the Cathedral of 1158-1160, with its basis reconstruction Voronin, first of all obliged to take into account the arches and the single stair tower. It is one of the tower - North. The presence of the South tower, archaeological data have not confirmed5and symmetry of the composition of extensions to the Cathedral, the output of which Voronin made on the basis of image 6, мы не можем считать доказанной с удовлетворительной степенью достоверности.

The thing is that in times of Bogolyubovo complex of buildings adjacent to the Church, could only be a Bishop, not a princely: Vladimir courtyard Andrew was significantly longer (probably with the court Dolgoruky, near the Church of the Savior)7, besides the main residence of the Prince was Bogolyubovo. It means, "Bishop's room" and "Terem"8 - most likely, the same complex of buildings that various chroniclers called differently. This is confirmed by the fact that in the fire of 1185 "Terem" burned it the Church books and utensils9.

But as a complex of buildings, adjoining the assumption Cathedral was the only one, we are in compliance with the data of archaeology have it to the North of the temple. And connect this complex with the Cathedral, the "pillar"of which Voronin rightly spoken of as a "stair pillar", i.e. as to the stairwell10. In principle, it is possible that the "Bishop's room", "house" and "pillar" were one and the same building that played a role and stair towers and utility room.

Our position with respect to one - Northern - stair tower is confirmed by the fact that in the Western part of the Northern wall of the Cathedral Bogolyubsky (the junction of the tower) was never column-type belt, and on the appropriate part of the southern wall he was11.

As for the image of the XVI century, contained in the fundamental work Voronin, they are artistic synthesis, and it is impossible to determine exactly what the Church is depicted on them is a single - domed with two symmetrical towers or five-domed without towers.

We can now turn to the question about the number of heads of the Cathedral of 1158-1160.

Ipatiev chronicle clearly and repeatedly (under 1158, 1175 and 1183 years) suggests the Cathedral Bogolyubsky as the five-domed: Andrey "make this same Church 5 elite and all covered with gold decorate and store in it episcopo"; and five top of her poslati"; "and all five top Golden share"12). N.N. Voronin very sharply called the message "error chronicle (though noting and discussions that took place on this subject at the end of XIX-beginning of XX century - in particular, the EE golubinski on the five-domed Cathedral)13.

As evidence of odnopolie Cathedral NN Voronin brought the message record Avraamki about United verse"14 and the above mentioned image of the XVI century, and the researcher made the unlikely situation that at this time "to preserve the memory of the one-domed Cathedral Andrew".

In recent times the message Ipatiev chronicle about five summit" drew%15. Исследователь допускала возможность справедливости этих сообщений, основываясь на том, что пятиглавие собора более соответствовало  великокняжеским амбициям Андрея Боголюбского16.

The author of this article believes that considerations E.E. Golubinsky and TP Timofeeva absolutely justified.

First of all, the Ipatiev chronicle as the source, directly included Vladimir Grand-Ducal vault17that deserves much more confidence than a chronicle Avraamki.

E.E. Golubinsky, not recognizing the obvious fact of rigging Cathedral galleries with Vsevolod, however, rightly believed that in the later vaults (including in the annals Avraamki - SZ) error message about "United verse" Cathedral Bogolyubsky appeared due to the literal interpretation of the Laurentian chronicle reports under 1160 year: "and the top (one head, SZ) her poslati"18. Moreover, the researcher noted that in the Ipatievskaya Chronicles under the year 116119 - SZ) shows the same text, and there is written "and covered her poslati". The conclusion is that in the Laurentian chronicle, also using the Vladimir the great arch20could be wrong in the correspondence. In the Ipatiev chronicle of this error could be: as we have seen, the "five summit" they say repeatedly.

About the ambiguity of interpretation of the images of the XVI century we have said above.

In favor of the five-domed Cathedral 1158-1160 can be reduced and "engineering" argument.

N.N. Voronin believed that in the fire of 1185 burned down the wooden context of the assumption Cathedral, and therefore Vsevolod had to strengthen its high galleries, played the role of buttresses21. The author of this article adhered to and adheres to the same opinion22, citing its primarily because Cathedral exceeded a limit of reliability"is defined for the white-stone temple's cross, even in times Dolgoruky (according to research of the author, the inner space of the main volume should not exceed 200 square metersand the side of the omphalos - 6 m23).

But the position and Voronin, and the author of this article has not been confirmed in situ data that suggest that the Cathedral 1158-1160 in 1185 came into alarm state (the author of this article even conceded that the building of the Cathedral galleries could be a "preventive measure"24). Now, after studies conducted in 2003 by the author of this article, we may assume that this

The thing is that we managed to find the slope of the Central chapters of the assumption Cathedral at 2.5 degrees to the East. In itself this does not prove anything (in theory, this tilt head could get and later XII century), but look:

- in galleries Vsevolod no corner compartments from the North-East and South-East, although they would have significantly increased the altar part of the Cathedral;

- small Eastern heads that could stand on the corner compartments, to form a centrally symmetric composition and contribute to the coverage of the altar, moved to the West;

- small Eastern heads are smaller (and lighter) than the Western.

All this could not be a mere coincidence or a whim of Vsevolod the Big Nest.

The situation is seen as follows: the Cathedral Bogolyubsky in 1180-ies (perhaps even before the fire of 1185) came to the emergency state, and its bringing together the heads and arches "moved" to the Eastern side (West strengthen choruses). In connection with this master Vsevolod obstraivaya temple galleries, were forced to abandon the Eastern corner of the compartments and extinguish raspor Central drum in the North-East and South-East exceptionally rugged construction, each of which consisted of two perpendicular walls. In the East raspor further extinguished semicircular apses, in the West - choirs, North and South - arched bridge (and partly also the choir), and because such a substantial strengthening of the Cathedral safely reached our days.

All the above testifies to the fact that the Cathedral Bogolyubsky in 1185-1189 years was built galleries just because of the arrival in emergency state (shift codes and the slope of the Central chapters to the East).

And now let's remember that the Cathedral 1158-1160 came in emergency condition very quickly - a quarter century after the construction (and possibly earlier). Even though the temple exceed the "maximum security", this time for the stone building (built under the direction of Western architect25) extremely small. So something had to accelerate the shift codes, and it could be four small heads, created significant additional workload.

The master Vsevolod 1185-1189 years were forced to dismantle these chapters. The demolition was forced: if there was the slightest chance to save these chapters Andrew's Cathedral, the master Vsevolod it would be in the%8

Thus, we must not talk about "the building", and the restructuring of the Church in 1185-1189 years: the dismantling of four small heads meant of the vaults of.

In connection with the above, we offer a variant of reconstruction axonometric (Fig. 2) and plan (Fig. 3) the assumption Cathedral of Andrei Bogolyubsky: with five domes, one stair-tower (pillar) in the North and porches from the South, North and West.

In the reconstruction Voronin no water cannons (which, in all probability, were three-dimensional zoomorphic sculptures26). We believe that these cannons should be included in the reconstruction.


Fig. 2. The Cathedral of the assumption. Reconstruction of the author (axonometric).


Fig. 3. The Cathedral of the assumption. Reconstruction of the author (the plan).





1. Voronin. The architecture of North-Eastern Russia XII-XV centuries. M., 1961-1962. So 1, S. 168.

2. Ibid., C. 163-169.

3. Ibid., C. 168.

4. Vielamicy, AAC, Uschakov. History of Russian architecture. Leningrad, 1984. C. 137.

5. Voronin. The decree. cit., so 1, S. 169.

6. Ibid., C. 161, 163.

7. Ibid., C. 200.

8. PSRL, 1:392; 2:630.

9. PSRL, 1:392.

10. PSRL, 2:582; Voronin. The decree. cit., so 1, S. 160.

11. Voronin. The decree. cit., so 1, S. 162.

12. PSRL, 2:349; 409; 439.

13. Voronin. The decree. cit., so 1, S. 518.

14. PSRL, 16:310.

15. T.P. Timofeeva. The Golden gate in Vladimir. M., 2002. C. 16.

16. Individual interviews with TP Timofeeva. 2003.

17. M.Dpreshaw. History of Russian Chronicles of the XI-XV centuries, St. Petersburg, 1996. C. 98.

18. E.E. Golubinsky. The history of the Russian Church. So 1, ch. 1. M., 1901. So 1, part 2. M., 1904. Reprint ed. M., 1997. So 1, 2 hours, 113 S.;

PSRL, 1:351.

19. PSRL, 2:363.

20. M.Dpreshaw. The decree. cit., S. 166.

21. Voronin. The decree. cit., so 1, S. 150.

22. SV zagraevsky. Yuri Dolgoruky and old white-stone architecture. M., 2002. C. 78, 85.

23. Ibid., C. 82.

24. Ibid., C. 78.

25. For more information, see ibid., C. 74.

26. BA Ognev. On the roof coatings (to the question of restoration of the roof coatings temples of North-Eastern Russia XII-XV centuries). - In the book: Architectural heritage, № 10. M., 1958. C. 55.


 © Sergey Zagraevsky

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