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Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky


To the question about length, plan and appearance of pre-Mongol fortifications of Vladimir




The research by Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky ascertained the issues of questions of length, plan and appearance of pre-Mongol fortifications of the city of Vladimir.




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.



The topography of the pre-Mongol the city of Vladimir has identified a long plateau between the Klyazma and Lybed (Il. 11). In the Vladimir division into three parts has also reflected the natural topography – deep the ravines between the hills. (For simplicity, we will refer to the three parts of the pre-Mongol Vladimir respectively Western, Central and Eastern).


The plan of Vladimir XII–XIII centuries (according to N. N. Voronin).

The numbers on the plan identifies: I – the city of Monomakh (Picerni city); II – Vecanoi the city; III – the New city; IV – the citadel; 1 – Church of the Saviour; 2 – the Church of St. George; 3 – the assumption Cathedral; 4 – the Golden gate; 5 – Originy gate; 6 – gates of brass; 7 – Silver gate; 8 – Volga gate; 9 – Demetrius Cathedral; 10 – ascension monastery; 11 – the Christmas monastery; 12 – assumption (center) monastery; 13 – gate of Trading; 14 – Èâàíîâñêèt gate; 15 – the gate of the citadel; 16 – the Church of the exaltation of the Bargain.


Il. 1. The plan of Vladimir XII–XIII centuries (according to N. N. Voronin).


The digits on the plan identifies: I– the city of Monomakh (Picerni city); II – Vecanoi the city; III – New city; IV – the citadel; 1 – the Church of the Saviour; 2 – the Church of St. George; 3 – the assumption Cathedral; 4 – the Golden gate; 5 – Originy gate; 6 – gates of brass; 7 – Silver gate; 8 – Volga gate; 9 – Demetrius Cathedral; 10 – ascension monastery; 11 – Christmas monastery; 12 – assumption (center) monastery; 13 – Trade gate; 14 – Ivanovskie gate; 15 – the gate of the citadel; 16 – the Church The exaltation of the Bargain.


Preserved traced on the ground many fragments of ancient Vladimir shaft2.

So, in the territory the Western part of the pre-Mongol Vladimir South of the Golden gate goats is Val, further to the Southeast along the border of the Patriarch's garden slopes down to The Klyazma Galaski shaft, reaching to Nikolo-Galaski street. To the North of Golden along Nikitsky gate street to Front street Borovok is Theatrical shaft. Over the Northern slope of the plateau above the streets Front and Rear Borovok traced Borovoy shaft.

On-site the middle part of the pre-Mongol city on the West side is clearly visible Trinity the shaft passing along Komsomolskaya street to its intersection with Thieves. Along the Northern edge of a plateau can be traced to poorly preserved Lybidska shaft, the Eastern part which is called the Filthy shaft. From the East side of the plateau along the guide on the southern section of the street thieves survived a significant a fragment of the Ivanovo shaft. Maybe the hill with a viewing platform on the South edge of the plateau near the Dmitrievsky Cathedral is also preserved a fragment shaft3.

Within the East part of the pre-Mongol Vladimir on the Northern edge of the plateau in the vicinity of the stadium "Lybid" and the former cinema "the World" has preserved a small fragment of the conception shaft. On the southern edge of the Station along the street opposite the distillery and along the streets are remnants of the Theology of the shaft.

Nevertheless, in the problem determine the length, shape and appearance of the fortifications of Vladimir XII–XIII centuries, at first glance seeming long been solved, actually a lot controversial issues.

By N. N. Voronin, the total length of the pre-Mongol Vladimir fortifications were "almost 7000 m4. The researcher led and the length of the shafts of each of the parts of the city: East2460 m, West1926 maverage – "a few more than 2,500 m5. These figures are currently accepted.

But once there the question is, how could up to a meter to indicate the length of the Eastern fortifications part of the city, just hypothetically assuming the location of the Silver gate and, accordingly, the shape of the line of fortifications near the gate. The same refers to the Western part, where a similar problem occurs because not exactly the installed location of the Volga. Landslides of soil on the cliffs too could change the shape of the boundaries of the fortifications.

We have the opportunity more or less exactly (of course, with the accuracy of a meter, and up to ten) to determine only the length of the fortifications of the middle part of the pre-Mongol Vladimir (as we said above, this length N.N. Voronin called about – "a few more than 2500 m"). In fact in the case that the southern edge of the fortifications took place at the existing edge, this length is about 2410 m6. If in the pre-Mongolian time the edges of the breaks were on, then the length of the fortifications was more, and to figure it out, you have to add to it twice the width alleged opolska region (for example, if slid20 m soil, the initial the length of the fortifications would have been about2450 m). But below we show that such large landslides on the cliffs Vladimir was not.

Our length measurement the pre-Mongol fortifications the rest of the city gave the following results:2450 m(East part) and1940 m (Western). Accuracy – plus or minus30 m depending on the degree the alleged proximity of the outlines of the fortifications to the realities of the pre-Mongol time and scale of a hypothetical landslide.

Thus, the total length city fortification pre-Mongol Vladimir was about6800 m (not counting the citadel, the court of Yuri Dolgoruky, yards and other fortified monasteries). External Vladimir perimeter of the fortifications was about5560 m.

Controversial is the question and about the appearance of the pre-Mongol Vladimir fortifications. By N. N. Voronin, on entire it was powerful shafts, reaching the base width24 mhigh to9 mwith wood chopped the fence at the top. These findings the researcher made on the basis of modern Kozlov sizes7 Ivanovo and8 shafts.

A.V. Stoletov did the amendment that near the Gantry shaft the building of the Golden gate "rooted in the ground" about1,5 m relative to the pre-Mongol fluorescent surface, and believed that the initial height of the shaft was even bigger than thought N. N. Voronin – almost 11 m9. And VP Glazov determined the width of the shafts of Vladimir 28-30 m10.

Such a huge height and the width of Vladimir shafts we see on other reconstructions11, and on the layout of the pre-Mongol Vladimir presented in the exhibition Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-reserve12. Residential and public the buildings stand as if in the pits formed by the enormous fortifications. Accordingly, the work on these fortifications were to be truly Titanic. For Example, N. N. Voronin believed that the middle part of the city under Vladimir Monomakh built, thousands of people involving hundreds of carts13. It is unlikely at this time in North-Eastern Russia, not yet fully Christianized and colonized by the Russian princes14, was possible mobilization such significant resources.



Il. 2. The layout of Vladimir XII–XIII centuries, located in the exposition of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-reserve.


Actually the pre-Mongol shafts and Vladimir, and the vast majority of other Russian wood and earthen fortifications were not as impressive. A the extant city walls, traditionally considered to be the pre-Mongol, as a result of numerous sprinklings of the soil in the XV–XVII centuries received much more height than in the pre-Mongolian time. Prove it.

First, if the height Vladimir Kozlov shaft in the XII century was 9-11 m, the top was higher combat site, hosted on the deck through the arch of Golden gate on a height of about6 m (respectively, in pre-Mongol times – about7.5 m). In this case becomes unclear assignment of a bricked up doorway opposite exit the combat area under the arch from the middle platform of the stairs, as this the doorway would lead into the interior of the mound shaft (it drew the attention of N. N. Voronin15).

Secondly, according to archaeological research, Vladimir Ivanovo shaft originally had a height of 1.8–1.9 m16, inside it there are traces of several different steps construction, and he rested on the cultural layer of the XI–XII centuries, ie it was poured later appearance at this place of city17.

Thirdly, within the shaft in In Suzdal near ancient Ilyinsky gate (extrapolated the present height more6 m) pre-Mongolian rampart was only at a height of 1.5 m18;

Fourthly, the initial height of the shafts of Dmitrov was 1.5–2 m extrapolated current height up to 18 m19;

Fifthly, the initial the height of the trees Peniscola (smotrokovsky) town of XV century was2.4 mand in our time, it approximately 4 m20;

Sixth, the shafts of Pinsk in the the final period of their existence had a height of up to 18-20 m, and in primary – about 3 m21;

Seventh, the traces numerous sprinklings the author observed in the sections of shafts and Przemysl Moscow, and of Radonezh.

Eighth, in many cases of pre-Mongolian trees, if they in the future had to be, in General, disappeared with the face of the earth, even if around in the new time was not conducted any little bit intensive construction works (as in Kideksha, Vyshgorod in Yakhroma, Gorodnya Tver region, Kamenskoye Naro-Fominsk district of the Moscow region and many others. etc.). It is characteristic that in Kolomna pre-Mongolian trees do not only not preserved, but traces of them are still not found – in a very intensive archaeological research conducted in the twentieth century22.

From the above, we can conclude that compared to pre-Mongol times were significantly spiked and city walls of Vladimir (in particular, known repairs of the walls in 1536, as well as walls and shafts in 1670-1674 years23).

The question may arise: why in the XVIand XVII centuries could be necessary to pour the ancient wood-land strengthen, typologically corresponding to the fortifications of the ancient Gauls, which masse captured Julius Caesar? Strengthen, according to the world standards considered hopelessly outdated in the pre-Mongol time24?

The answer is: ancient the wood-land fortress, paradoxically, in the XVIand XVII centuries received the "second breath" in connection with the development of artillery. The shafts played a role of the parapets and bastions, on which was effectively to place the cannon. And these fortifications (of course, their excavation, and not the wooden parts, which were easy to sweep away from shafts with not only cannons, and catapults, as did the Mongols during the invasion of Batu) had been it is highly resistant to enemy artillery fire. Cannon placed in earthen bastions, were protected. Not in vain in times of Peter the great earthen bastions were arranged around the many stone Russian fortresses, including the Moscow Kremlin.

And laid side the doorway of the Golden gate at the height of7.5 m relative to the surface XII–XIII centuries points us to the level of the combat sites of city walls in the pre-Mongol time is not in vain in the middle of the stairs of the Golden gate, where he crossed two human flow (with city walls and battle site), there was a significant trumpet white stone walls25.

Since we don't know the altitude of the Gorodnya (crates, Tarasov) that shaped the city walls of Vladimir, we unable to determine the original height of the shaft only approximately Kozlov. If make the height of the Gorodnya for 2-3 m, then the height of this shaft does not exceed5 m (to clarify these numbers can new archaeological research). Accordingly, there were less than width shaft, and the depth of the ditch in front of him.

Not necessary be sure that any strengthening of Vladimir could not be higher Kozlova shaft, on the floor – the endangered – side.

And from the cliffs over the rivers the shafts, most likely in the pre-Mongol period generally absent the fortifications consisted only of the wooden walls. This is to prove the following provisions:

– according to the archaeological research A. A. Yushko, this situation occurred in almost all ancient hillforts26;

– in the pre-Mongol The Mr coating 3-5-foot shafts on a 50-metre cliffs above the Klyazma would have led to large additional labor costs, but almost not increased reliability would strengthen;

– these additional labor costs were especially high that the ground for loading of the shafts over the cliffs would have to carry from the vicinity of the city (for outdoor shafts soil was taken from dig ditches in front of them, but over the cliffs to the river it was to make impossible).

In this regard, we can to Express doubt in the fact that Vladimir plateau in the course of history the existence of the city, there was a significant landslide processes.

VP Glazov thought what landslides was caused by the fact that on the southern edges of the plateau Vladimir, overlooking the Klyazma, the shafts do not exist already in the plans of the XVIII century27. But here, first, is seen as the preferred based on the Assembly information position N. N. Voronin, consisting in the fact that the shafts on the North and South the edges of the plateau were razed (knocked off the slopes) at the beginning of the nineteenth century28. Secondly, on the basis from what we have said above, were razed ramparts, spiked later XII–XIII centuries. In the pre-Mongolian time these shafts were either no (the walls were going straight to the top of the slopes), or they were very small. Accordingly, we believe that since that time the edge of the plateau above cliffs slid not so much – no more than 5-10 m from the edge.

In favor of our position evidenced by the fact that Vladimir assumption Cathedral, despite its huge size, located no further than ten meters from the edge of the cliff and low constructive reliability29, did not become a victim of landslides30. Fortunately for Vladimir monuments, Klyazma tends not to retreat to the North and to the South (we see the example of changes of its bed in the district Bogolyubov).




1. Voronin N. N. The architecture of North-Eastern Russia XII–XV centuries. M., 1961-1962. Vol. 1. S. 129.

2. The name given by Vladimir shafts A. P. Subbotin (Subbotin A. P. the Provincial city of Vladimir in 1877. HBV, No. 46, 1881): "ancient Monuments are mainly religious, then the shafts, surrounding the city proper for miles; these shafts, ranging in height from 15 to20 feet (from the city)... The large tree goats, or cows, in 1 Dec. 575 fathoms, is arc to the right, it abuts Galaski shaft 300 sq. yards. On Kozlov Val (rampart) in 1868 installed tank city water, separated from it closer to Klyazma bridge shaft (primotivo) in 440 fathoms. Theatrical shaft in 1273 sq. sazh. to the left is from the Golden gate to travel against the 2nd Nikolskaya street, his the midsole is perched theater and a pond in the old days it continued until the Maiden monastery, but the second half razed (600 sq. sazh.) in the late 60-ies, and thatplace arranged a sort of square. Next is upland shaft (300 sq. sazh.) about The convent in the Kremlin from the fountain, the Trinity the shaft (1 Dec. 565 sq. sazh.) in two of the ledge; it caught the stones from the old tower; it wraps along Lybed Lubezki shaft (420 sq. sazh.), and then Nasty (by Nasty pond from which to the South of the Ivanovo shaft 1585 sq. sazh. Rozhen monastery, these shafts bend around Trinity street); for Ivanovo bridge left two shaft North Sakuteiki (1056 sq. sazh.), the slope to the varvarinskaya street and to the South Theological shaft".

Variant names Galyckogo shaft – Nikolo-Galaski, Borowski – Borovetskaya (Skvortsov I. A., Strogova A. P., O. A. Shagova Vladimir. Guide book. Vladimir, 1984).

3. According to T. P. Timofeeva, any documents describing the appearance of this hill, there is no, and there is another version of his appearance: he was created from soil excavated the building of government Offices. However, this building was built in 1785-1790, and the ramparts on the southern edge of the plateau were razed (dropped from slopes) at the beginning of the XIX century (Voronin N. N. The early history of the Vladimir and its surroundings // Soviet archaeology, 1959, No. 4, p. 74-81). Therefore, at the time of construction of government Offices of the South shaft, probably still existed, and would hardly need to pour it the excavated soil or to arrange artificial hill beside it. Appropriate when the shaft razed in the early nineteenth century to save his fragment as the observation platform. But this is only a hypothesis, to confirm or deny that can only archeological research.

4. Voronin N. N. The Architecture... T. 1. P. 131.

5. Ibid.

6. The measurements are performed using a computer program "Google Earth".

7. Voronin N. N. The Architecture... T. 1. P. 131.

8. Ibid. P. 40.

9. The reconstruction of A.V. Stoletov given in the book.: Timofeeva T. P. Golden gate in Vladimir. M., 2002. P.25.

10. Glazov V. P. In the summer 6616-e (to the topography of Vladimir) // On the native land. People, history, life, nature of the land of Vladimir. Yaroslavl, 1978. S. 32.

11. For example, see O. V. reconstruction of Grechany in kN.: Ancient Russian city planning in X–XV centuries. Under the General editorship N. F. Gulyanitsky. M., 1993. With 174-175.

12. The meeting GUSS, NV-9351, 1980.

13. Voronin N. N. The Architecture... T. 1. P. 40.

14. According to the "Life of Abraham of Rostov," if the monk in the squares of Rostov were idols (Life of ven. Abraham Of Rostov // Ancient of lore (XI–XVI centuries), Moscow, 1982. P. 137). According to V. O. Klyuchevsky, Abraham lived at the end of XI century But, regardless of reality and of the lifetime of Abraham, it is unlikely Monomakh, driving North-East Rus from Kiev and had been there only sporadically, could bring to an end the process of colonization and Christianization Zaleski a distant land.

15. Voronin N. N. The Architecture... T. 1. S. 140.

16. Romanova O. On the site of the ancient city ramparts were construction // Information portal "Call.EN", 18.05.2011.

17. Voronin N. N. The Architecture... T. 1. S.. 41.

18. Sedova M. V. Suzdal in X–XV centuries. M., 1997. P. 52.

19. Cm. The Internet site

20. Ovsyannikov O. V. Fortified manor XIV–XV centuries. as monuments of military architecture of the Russian North. In the book: Brief reports Institute of archaeology. Vol. 172. P. 97-104.

21. Cm. The Internet site

22. Mazurov A. B. the location of the citadel and the size of Kolomna in the XII–XIII centuries // Local lore notes. SB. scientific papers of the Kolomna Museum of local lore. Kolomna, 2001. P. 28.

23. Voronin N. N. The Architecture... T. 1. P. 135; Mazur, L. D. Strengthening of the Kremlin and the Posad Vladimir in the XVII century // Academic Bulletin of the Ural Sri project raabs. No. 2, 2012. P. 46.

24. For example, here is Palestine, where in a poor, desolate and uninhabited land, in conditions of constant war with the Muslims in the XII century was built more than two hundred stone fortresses. An example of one of them – the fortifications of Acre (Akko), which consisted of a system of double walls, converging at right angles and components in terms of a rectangular triangle, the basis which served as a sea. Each of the walls had a length of about500 m and had twelve powerful towers. At the intersection of the Eastern and Northern inner walls (North-East corner of the fortifications) was a huge round tower Henry". Before the city walls were deep moats and ditches, covering the message the city with the outside world by land, towers stood, surrounded by its own moat. All the walls were fitted interior corridors with loopholes. And Northern suburbs The acres of Memucan, too, was double fortified stone wall with towers. (Information Internet site

25. Voronin N. N. The Architecture... T. 1. S. 140.

26. Yushko A. A. Moscow land IX–XIV centuries. M., 1991. S. 97.

27. Glazov V. P. In the summer 6616-e... p. 36.

28. Voronin N. N. From the early history of Vladimir and his the neighborhood // Soviet archaeology, 1959, No. 4, pp. 74-81.

29. For more information, see: Zagraevsky SV Yuri Dolgoruky and old white-stone architecture. M., 2001. P. 82.

30. Discovered in due time the author of this study the tilt of the head temple at 2.5 degrees to the East (and not South, i.e. not in the direction a cliff) was not associated with a landslide, and with the fire in 1185 (for details, see: Zagraevsky S. V. Uspenskii Cathedral in Vladimir: some architectural issues history // to the memory of Andrei Bogolyubsky. SB. articles. MoscowVladimir, 2009. C. 95).


Moscow, 2016.


© Sergey Zagraevsky

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