Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky
Problems of the reconstruction of the original view
of the Cathedral of the Nativity of Virgin Mary in
of the beginning of the 13th century
Published in Russian: Заграевский С.В. Вопросы реконструкции первоначального вида суздальского
собора Рождества Богородицы начала XIII века. Электронная публикация: электронная научная библиотека «РусАрх»,
The study is devoted to the original
forms of the Cathedral of the Nativity
of Virgin Mary in Suzdal of 1222-1225. The author's version of a graphic
reconstruction is offered.
The following text
was translated from the Russian original by the computer program
and has not yet been
So it can be used
only for general introduction.
When the Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh at the beginning of the XII
century (formerly 11251) in the city of
Il. 1. Combined plans for Monomakh's Cathedral and
temple of 1222-1225 ( P. L. Zykov).
The questions of existence in Suzdal "intermediate" Cathedral,
built by K. N. Tikhonravov, A. D. Varganov, G. Wagner, V. M. Anisimov and some
other researchers5, by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in 1148, is considered
in detail the author of this study in the treatise "About the hypothetical
"intermediate" the construction of the Cathedral of Nativity in
Suzdal in 1148 and the original form of Suzdal temple of 1222-1225"6.
In the given work the author after N. N. Voronin7showed loyalty,
consistency and compliance of the architectural and archaeological data the
above message Laurentian Codex that Yuri Vsevolodovich destroyed it is the
Cathedral, built under Vladimir Monomakh, and built a new white stone Church.
Accordingly, there is no "intermediate" Cathedral in 1148 in Suzdal
In 1445 the second tier Cathedral of the beginning of the XIII century
above the arcature-columnar zone collapsed and in 1528-1530, he was rebuilt, of
Il. 2. Cathedral The Nativity of the virgin in Suzdal.
On the lower parts of the Cathedral 1222-1124, it is possible to judge
that he was a three-nave, six pillars, three, trepetnym (ill. 3).
Il. 3. Cathedral The Nativity of the virgin in Suzdal.
N. N. Voronin in capital work "the Architecture of North-Eastern
Russia XII-XV centuries"8variants the reconstruction of the
original appearance of the temple did not offer. Currently in the scientific
circulation are detailed graphic reconstruction G. Wagner9 (ill. 4)
and V. M. Anisimov10(ill. 5).
Il. 4. Cathedral The Nativity of the virgin in Suzdal. Reconstruction G. Wagner.
Il. 5. Cathedral The Nativity of the virgin in Suzdal.
Reconstruction V. M. Anisimov.
Let us give their views regarding the reconstruction of the original
appearance of the Cathedral from the beginning of the XIII century.
First of all you need notice that part of the walls of the first tier of
the existing Cathedral is faced with tuff-like limestone (ill. 6), not in use
now rightly referred to as TUF11. N. N. Voronin considered a primary
clutch, though coupled with well-treated white stone slabs12.
Archaeological research has shown that white stone slabs - traces of the
escarpment13, and, therefore, the whole Church is the beginning of
the XIII century was faced with tuff-like limestone.
Il. 6. Cathedral The Nativity Of The Virgin. The
In the laying of tuff-like limestone embedded this modern clutch is
shaped and ornamented details of well-treated white stone portals, basement,
arcature-columnar belt, other elements of decor. (Complex and covered by a thin
thread details architectural decoration was usually cut separately and then
inserted into the clutch, otherwise it would have been greatly complicated the
process of elimination poorly hewn parts: they were to be removed from
Thus, the temple, built by Yuri Vsevolodovich, had a unique appearance:
it roughly processed tuff-like lining was combined with richly ornamented decor
of high quality white stone.
Such unprecedented architectural solution - the combination of the
Cathedral from the beginning of the XIII century veneer of tuff-like limestone
with shaped and ornamented details of white stone - in any case, was not the
recourse of construction equipment. On the contrary, it the solution combines
two essential qualities: efficiency and aesthetics.
Roughly processed tuff-like limestone in the upper layers of deposits of
stone (probably open way, unlike quality limestone quarried closed method14),
was much cheaper than well-treated white stone. This fully reflects the desire
of the builders of the Cathedral to the maximum savings. In turn, this desire
is confirmed by the fact that the walls Cathedral of 1222-1225 were in a large
part zabutovany the ruins of the first Cathedral (and sometimes instead of
filling entirely used fragments of the walls of the temple of Monomakh). Also
it is significant that the builders were not fully to coat tuff-like limestone
wall of the Cathedral, covered Western the porch, and used the fragments of
masonry of Monomakh and, probably the tile of their own making (as was rightly
put N. N. Voronin, this was due to the fact that this section of the wall still
intended for plastering and painting15).
Most likely, the need for economy was caused by turbulent political
atmosphere (in 1216 was the infamous Lipicky battle, Yuri Vsevolodovich again
became the Grand Prince only in 1218 and hardly had time to 1222 quite approved
of Vladimir the table) and numerous military trips on the Volga Bulgaria and
Novgorod. As you know, war is the worst enemy architecture. Both because of the
direct destructive impact on the monuments architecture, and due to the
inevitable economic complications16.
Aesthetics such architectural solutions of Suzdal Cathedral of the
beginning of the XIII century was due to the fact that "sloppy" the
laying of tuff-like limestone profitable richly shaded off ornamented profiled
parts made from high quality white stone. In General the temple looked very
It should be noted that this solution is a combination of rough hewn
brick walls with well-treated profiled details of architectural decoration is
widely the spread in the first third of the XIV century, when in a difficult
economic climate of the times Mongol yoke in the same technique were erected
the Church of the conception of John The forerunner to the Settlement in
Kolomna, St. Nicholas Church in Kamenskoye Naro-Fominsk district of the Moscow
region (ill. 7), Church of the Nativity of the virgin in the village of
Gorodnya Tver region, the first assumption Cathedral in Moscow (reconstruction
the author is shown in ill. 8) and a number of other temples17.
Il. 7. St. Nicholas Church in Kamenskoye.
Il. 8. Assumption Cathedral in Moscow (1326-1327
years). Reconstruction of the author.
Thus, in the reconstruction of the original form of Suzdal temple of
1222-1225 you need to make tuff-like masonry walls and blades. Accordingly, no
planar ornamentation on the walls, shown G. K. Wagner, V. M. Anisimov and their
reconstructions (apparently, by analogy with George Cathedral in Yuriev-Polsky)
if such laying it could not be.
The next most important the question of the reconstruction of the
original form of Suzdal Cathedral of the beginning of the XIII century - the
completion of the temple.
N. N. Voronin gave unpreserved the pre and first post-Mongol temples
stepped arch and tripoline towering end, making the conclusion that low
structural reliability of these completions resulted in a quick the destruction
of the temples18. Accordingly, stepped arches and tripoline
completion was expected in the St. George's Cathedral in Yuryev-Polish19,
the first assumption Cathedral of Moscow20, the Nativity Cathedral
in Suzdal and The assumption Cathedral in Rostov beginning of the XIII century,
as well as in pre-Mongol brick the churches of Yaroslavl21. Such a
conclusion were depicted on his reconstruction of Suzdal Cathedral and G. K.
Wagner (see ill. 4). (V. M. Anisimov from such termination in its
reconstruction refused, see Il. 5).
The author of this study in the book "Yuri Dolgoruky and the old
white-stone architecture"22 showed that the presence of the
stepped arches and tripolino (towering) complete in itself does not lead to the
reduction of the structural reliability of the temple. Archaeological data show
that St. George's Cathedral in Yuryev-Polsky such termination had not23.
Because other evidence tripolino complete nor N. N. Voronin nor G. K. Wagner
did not, we can not consider this the end of Suzdal Cathedral of the beginning
of the XIII century proved and not driven it on our reconstruction.
An important clarification concerning architectural features and low
reliability of Suzdal the virgin Nativity Cathedral of 1222-1225, we can infer
white stone blocks over the arcature-columnar zone, which depict female
(probably mother) faces. These blocks - a three-faced, i.e. faces depicted on
them from three sides (front and side). These blocks are in situ, i.e. the
bottom side connected with walls of the XIII century24. When you
rebuild the top of the Church in the XVI century, they were neatly lined brick.
Probably, they were treated as sacred objects and therefore retained.
Il. 9. Female (mother of God) the face. The topography
of the southern facade of Cathedral of the Nativity of the virgin.
N. N. Voronin believed that and in the Cathedral of the beginning of XIII
century the side faces of the wall were laid masonry, i.e. work masters in
their filing down was excessive and illogical25. We believe that the
logic of the ancient masters did not differ from modern (one three-faced block
could still be "extra" turned "on error", and to be used as
a regular wall, but the six "extra" and "erroneous"
three-faced blocks is too many). We believe that each of these blocks all three
faces were open and the blocks were joined with brick walls only the bottom and
G. K. Wagner assumed that these blocks served as the bases of the
columns of the second tier26. This assumption is justified, but if
the blocks were speakers, the walls of the second tiers were to be
significantly narrower than the walls of the first tier, and the transition
from first tier to the second was to be issued by the tide. However like the
tide at its reconstruction (ill. 4) G. K. Wagner has not shown, and column it
look like the semi-columns or flat pilasters.
With a view to reconstruction G. Wagner themselves a three-faced blocks
also cannot agree, as they are actually the width is not equal to the blades,
and significantly already (see ill. 9).
Reconstruction V. M. Anisimov (see ill. 5) none of these blocks, the
speakers do not shown.
In our reconstruction we show the blocks as they are in reality, i.e., a
width of about
If the side faces were open, not laid stonework, and their width is
approximately equal to the width Central face, the walls of the second storey
walls are already the first tier about
Probably as sharp narrowing of the walls could become the first cause
soon (after 220 years) collapse the top of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the
The second reason is so imminent collapse is the excess in the Suzdal
Cathedral of Nativity of the virgin "the limit of reliability" old
white-stone construction. This limit reliability, calculated by the author in
the book "Yuri Dolgoruky and old white-stone architecture" on the
basis of the collected statistical material27, as follows: the side
of the dome of the temple square to
Returning to the questions reconstruction of Suzdal Cathedral of the
beginning of XIII century, pay attention to the corner animal reliefs on the
arcature-columnar zone (ill. 9). Reconstruction V. M. Anisimov (ill. 5) they
are absent on the reconstruction G. Wagner (ill. 4) they just fixed into the
vanes. But we attract as base analogues the columns of the southern portal
(ill. 10), and we believe that over animal corner the reliefs were the same
columns, as over three-faced blocks, and depicted them on our reconstruction. Missing
up to three-faced blocks the height of the animal blocks, we complement
fragment of an ornament, as is done in the bases of the columns of the southern
Thus, in contrast to from the reconstruction G. Wagner, we portray
column on the second tier the same height and level.
Il. 10. Animal relief on the southwest corner of the
Cathedral of the Nativity of the virgin.
Il. 11. Base the columns of the southern portal of the
Cathedral of the Nativity of the virgin.
The height of the second tier the Church of the Nativity of the virgin
beginning of the XIII century N. N. Voronin29 and G. K. Wagner30
is conventionally equated to an existing (in the restructuring of the XVI
century), do this and we.
About the size, location, the form and decoration of the Windows of the
Cathedral from the beginning of the XIII century, we can judge only
hypothetically, both the shape and the masonry of the jambs of the Windows of
the first tier is talking about that they were Rusticana (perhaps even punched
again) in accordance with the shape and location of Windows completely rebuilt
the second tier. On reconstruction G. Wagner window seeing unreasonably simple
and strict in comparison, for example, with the decoration of the portals. We
conventionally give Windows more complex profiling (as in the top tier of
reconstruction V. M. Anisimov) and decorate the slopes carving.
Apse Suzdal the Cathedral, we conditionally accept the same height as on
the reconstruction G. Wagner. A large proportion of the head as we
conditionally accept corresponding to the large proportions of the head of
Vladimir assumption Cathedral, as it is the only pillar of the pre-Mongol
Vladimir-Suzdal temple, which survived the Central Chapter.
The question about the number of heads Cathedral of 1222-1225 solved:
according to the message of Ananias Fedorov and Supraslska chronicle he was a
three-headed31, earlier the sources did not report. But the question
about the location of two small chapters is controversial.
N. N. Voronin32 and G. K. Wagner33 believed that
the small heads were located to the East from the big head. The researchers
drew as peers later Suzdal churches - Pokrovsky cathedrals and the monasteries
in the sixteenth century, which could have an impact the Cathedral of the
Nativity of the virgin. As depicted small heads on its reconstruction V. M.
This view of the location of the small domes of the Cathedral questioned
VL.In. Sedov34. This researcher believed that because the four
pillars Pokrovsky cathedrals and The monasteries belong to a different type
than the Cathedral of the Nativity The virgin, the impact on the location of
their heads had not Suzdal Nativity Cathedral and the Annunciation Cathedral of
the Moscow Kremlin (1482-1489 gg.). According To VL.In. Sedov, more than
adequate analogue of the location of small chapters is the Cathedral of the
Ivanovsky monastery in Pskov, where the small heads are to the West of the big
head and not illuminate the altar and the side chapels of the choir.
Reconstruction the original form of Suzdal Cathedral of the beginning of
the XIII century in OTL.In. Sedov (repeating the reconstruction G. Wagner in
everything except location the small size of the heads and interpretation
tripolino completion, shown in ill. 12.
Il. 12. Cathedral The Nativity of the virgin in
Suzdal. Reconstruction Of Overhead Lines.In. Sedov.
Unlikely question the location of the small domes of Suzdal Cathedral of
1222-1225 can be clearly resolved in principle: the researchers have too little
data. But based on the fact that local - Suzdal - analogues is far preferable
Pskov, we reflect on our reconstruction position VL.In. Sedova, and N. N.
Voronina and G. Wagner.
Here you can do significant clarification regarding the size of the
small chapters. Reconstruction G. Wagner he unduly low compared to, for example,
with the relative small size of the heads of the galleries of the assumption
Cathedral in Vladimir, the diameter of which is equal to the squares of the
respective compartments. These the head of the Vladimir Cathedral, we also
attract the analogue (the same depicted little domes of Suzdal Cathedral on
their reconstructions V. M. Anisimov and VL.In. Sedov).
Small heads on our reconstruction was more severe than presented on
reconstruction G. Wagner, and they (in combination with the relatively thin
walls of the second tier and large dome side of the square, which was located
appropriate large and heavy Central drum) could also accelerate drop the top of
Given all the above in this study, the author developed a graphical
reconstruction of Suzdal the virgin Nativity Cathedral of the beginning of the
XIII century, presented at the Il. 13.
Il. 13. Cathedral The Nativity of the virgin in
Suzdal. Reconstruction of the author.
1. Details on
Dating Cathedral, built in Suzdal at Monomakh, see: Zagraevsky SV About a
hypothetical "intermediate" the construction of the Cathedral of
Nativity in Suzdal in 1148 and the original form of Suzdal temple of 1222-1225.
In the book: Materials interregional studies conference (April 28
2. Of the
architectural features of the Cathedral from the beginning of the XII century,
see: O. M. ioannisyan, P. L. Zykov, Torshin E. N. The work of architectural and
archaeological expedition in 1996. In the book: The State Hermitage Museum.
Reporting archaeological session for 1996. SPb, 1997. P. 57-60; Zykov P. L.. To
the question of reconstruction of Suzdal Cathedral of the end XI-beginning of
XII V. In the book: Medieval architecture and monumental art. Rapporteuse
reading. Theses of reports. St. Petersburg, 1999; Glazov, V. P., Zykov P. L.,
O. M. ioannisyan Architectural and archaeological research in The Vladimir
region. In the book: Archaeological discoveries in 2001. M., 2002.
3. PSRL 1:445.
4. About the
consecration of the Cathedral Laurentian reports the chronicle under 6733 year:
"Created there was cerci Holy mother of God were Discussing in and Holy
was by Bishop Simon in the 8th day of September" (PSRL 1:447). Note that
in if in the Laurentian chronicle no date is specified on the March, and on the
September theme, the year of consecration is not 1225, 1224, because from 6733
we will not deduct 5508 and 5509 (L. V. Cherepnin Russian chronology. M., 1944.
P. 28). But as unambiguous evidence of the use of a particular style, we do
not, we see no point in questioning traditional date - the year 1225.
5. For details see:
K. Tikhonravov N. Suzdal Cathedral Nativity of the mother of God at the end of
the XVII century. In sat: Yearbook VGSC. Vol. I. VLadimir, 1975. S. 142-143
(reference to the work of K. N. Tikhonravov courtesy T. P. Timofeeva); A.
D. Varganov To history Vladimir-Suzdal architecture. In Phys.: "The Soviet
Museum", No. 2, 1938; A. D. Varganov To the architectural history of
Suzdal Cathedral. CIIMC, vol. 11, 1945. P. 99-101; A. D. Varganov New data to
the architectural history of Suzdal Cathedral of the XI-XIII centuries. In the
book: SA, No. 4, 1960; A. D. Varganov History a single building. In the book:
On the native land: the people, the history, the life, the nature of the earth
Vladimir. Yaroslavl, 1978. P. 21; Anisimov, V. M., History and architecture
ancient Suzdal Kremlin Cathedral. Vladimir, 2001. P. 20; Anisimov V. M., T. O.
Bachurin Some comprehensive research data Suzdal Cathedral. In Phys.: Restorer,
No. 1 (8), 2004. S. 112.
6. Zagraevsky SV
About a hypothetical "intermediate" the construction of the Cathedral
of Nativity in Suzdal...
7. Voronin N. N.
The architecture of North-Eastern Russia XII-XV centuries. M., 1961-1962. Vol.
2. S. 26.
9. Wagner G. K.
white stone carvings of ancient Suzdal. M., 1975. S. 33.
V. M. Anisimov is the exhibition of Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-reserve.
speaking, in the Suzdal Cathedral, as in several all other monuments of
pre-Mongol Suzdal land, not used tuff and low limestone originating from
younger sediments, than the white stone. Tuff in its classic sense, the limestone
is tuff was postponed at the bottom of ancient rivers or were the product of
ancient volcanic activity, and limestone, including white rock, is product
bottom sediments of ancient seas). But because low quality limestone is used in
the ancient temples, its porosity and grayish shade looks like a tuff,
historical and architectural use for him stuck just such a name, is a simpler,
but making certain ambiguity.
12. Voronin N. N.
The decree. CIT. Vol. 2. S. 28.
13. For details, see:
Zagraevsky SV About a hypothetical "intermediate" building of the
Cathedral of Nativity in Suzdal...
14. For details,
see: Zagraevsky SV extraction and processing of white stone in Ancient Russia.
15. Voronin N. N.
The decree. CIT. Vol. 2. S. 24.
16. Note that
immediately preceding Suzdal the construction of Yuri Vsevolodovich popenoe
temple construction Konstantin Vsevolodovich in
17. Read more about
these temples, see: SV Zagraevsky. The architecture of North-Eastern Russia the
end of XIII-the first one third of the XIV century. M., 2003.
18. Voronin N. N.
The decree. CIT. Vol. 2. S. 109.
19. Ibid. Vol. 1.
20. Ibid. Vol. 2.
21. Ibid. S. 109.
22. Zagraevsky SV
Yuri Dolgoruky and old white-stone architecture. M., 2001.
23. Zagraevsky SV
architecture and history the reconstruction of St. George Cathedral in
Yuriev-Polsky. M., 2008.
24. Voronin N. N.
The decree. CIT. Vol. 2. S. 28.
26. Wagner, G. K.
The Decree. CIT. P. 33.
27. For details,
see: Zagraevsky SV Yuri Dolgoruky...
28. For details,
see ibid., Chapter 5.
29. Voronin N. N.
The decree. CIT. Vol. 2. S. 27.
30. Wagner, G. K.
The Decree. CIT. P. 33.
31. Voronin N. N.
The decree. CIT. Vol. 2. S. 27.
33. Wagner, G. K.
The Decree. CIT. P. 33.
34. Sedov VL.In.
Unusual shape of Suzdal The Cathedral of the Nativity of the beginning of XIII
century): the Archaeology of the Vladimir-Suzdal land. Proceedings of the seminar. Vol.
© Sergey Zagraevsky