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S. V. Zagraevsky

 

New researches of Vladimir-Suzdal museums

architectural monuments

 

 

 

Published in Russian: .. - -. M.: -, 2008. ISBN 5-94025-099-8

 

Introduction

Chapter 1.Organization of production and processing of white stone in ancient Russia

Chapter 2. The beginning of Russian Romanesque: Jury Dolgoruky or Andrey Bogolyubsky?

Chapter 3. About the hypothetical intermediate building of the Cathedral of the Nativity of Virgin Mary

 in Suzdal in 1148 and the original view of Suzdal temple of 12221225

Chapter 4. Questions of date and status of Boris and Gleb Church in Kideksha

Chapter 5. Questions of architectural history and reconstruction of Andrey Bogolyubskys  

 Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir

Chapter 6. Redetermination of the reconstruction of Golden Gate in Vladimir

Chapter 7. Architectural ensemble in Bogolyubovo: questions of history and reconstruction

Chapter 8. To the question of reconstruction and date of the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl

Chapter 9. Questions of the rebuilding of Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir by Vsevolod the Big Nest

Chapter 10. Questions of the original view and date of Dmitrievsky Cathedral in Vladimir

Notes

 

Chapter 4.

Questions of date and status of Boris and Gleb Church in Kideksha

 

 

1. Issues of the date of Boris and Gleb Church and other churches of Yuri Dolgoruky

 

The Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha is located close to the confluence of the Nerl and the Kamenka rivers (about 600 m from the modern mouth of the Kamenka, about 5 km from the city center of Suzdal).

Boris and Gleb Church is usually dated by 1152. This date is based on the message of Typograph Chronicle: At the same time (in 1152 S.Z.) Prince George was in Suzdal, and God made him wiser eyes on church building, and he erected many churches in Suzdal land, and the stone Church of Holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb on the Nerl, and of Holy Saviour in Suzdal, and of St. George in Vladimir, also of stone, and transferred Pereslavl town from Kleschenia, and founded the great city, and completed there the stone Church of Holy Saviour, and wonderfully filled it with books and relics, and founded Gergiev town, and completed there the Church of Holy Martyr George1.

This message is placed in the annals under 1152. M.D. Priselkov showed that the chronicler lived in Rostov during the reign of Dolgoruky2.

N.N. Voronin also dated the church by 11523. But, nevertheless, the researcher doubted in the above mentioned message of Rostov chronicler, suggesting that the chronicler "summarized" all Yuri Dolgorukys buildings, which were erected since 1152 till 11574. O.M. Ioannisian supported this point of view of N.N. Voronin and believed that the first building, which was mentioned in the chronicle, was built in 1148 (St. George's Cathedral in Yuriev-Polsky)5.

 Arguments against Rostov chronicler may be briefly expressed as follows: in late 1140-1150s an artel, which had worked in Lesser Poland until 1110s, came to Dolgoruky from Galich. That was the only artel in Suzdal region, and it was unable to build so many churches in 1152. Dolgoruky could build only one temple a year more could not have been succeeded by one artel.

Such trend of dating of the churches listed by Rostov chronicler is seen already in the works of N.N. Voronin7 and O.M. Ioannisian8, and there is no doubt that future researchers will distribute the dating of these five churches (including the Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha) more and more "evenly" between 1148 and 1157. The number of possible options for such a distribution is calculated by dozens.

Of course, this is a fertile ground for every researcher of pre-Mongolian architecture of North-Eastern Russia to put forward his own version of the dating of Yurys temples. This is already observed in relation of Boris and Gleb church (1148 and 1149-1152 may be found in the popular scientific literature9). But is such a position legitimate?

Before all let us show the consistency and adequacy of the message of Typograph Chronicle, which dates all listed churches of Dolgoruky by 1152.

First, after almost two years in Kiev Yuri Dolgoruky was hardly short of money Kievites treated him as a greedy not for nothing (see Chap. 2). Probably, leaving Kiev in 1151 (without hope of return who could foresee almost simultaneous death of Izjaslav Mstislavich and Vyacheslav Vladimirovich?), Yuri "seized" the entire treasury. Perhaps his squad robbed citizens (this is confirmed by the fact that after Yuris death Kievites rushed to beat people of Suzdal who had come with Dolgoruky10).

And in North-Eastern Russia there was enough vacant land, with which the builders could be awarded.

Consequently, Dolgoruky had financial and material resources for construction of several white stone churches and several fortresses.

Secondly, Rostov chronicler makes the semantic accent is on the date of the buildings at the same time. Indeed, Yuri returned to Suzdal from Kiev at the turn of 1151 and 1152, and during almost all 1152 was in Suzdal region. He had no hope to return to Kiev, the deposits of white stone had already been explored (as we have shown in Chapters 1 and 2), and mass stone building in 1152 has absolutely logical justification.

 Third, if the chronicler "summarized" Dolgorukys buildings of 1148-1157 (as it was assumed by N.N. Voronin and O.M. Ioannisian), it is not clear why he placed a message about them under the intermediate random date 1152. It would have been much more logical to describe them under 1157.

Fourth, the Chronicle says that Yuris temples were "erected" and completed. In ancient Russian chronicles the word "to erect" (as well as much less common "to complete"11) in respect of the temples was synonymous with the word "to build", and chroniclers usually meant that the construction was started and completed this year.

For example, Vladimir Chronicle under 1401 reports that in Novgorod  the stone church of King Constantine and his mother Helena at Yanev street were erected, and Bishop Ivan founded the stone city fortress of Novgorod12; in 1432 two stone churches of St. George on Borkov street, and St. Nicolas in Buryagi behind the lake were erected, and in 1433 "Bishop Eufimy founded the stone church of St. Ivan Chrysostom at the gate"13; in 1514, "the church of St. Barbara at the opposite side of Pansky courtyard was consecrated by Metropolitan Varlam, and that church was erected by Yuri Urvihvostov and Theodore Boar... In the city of Moscow Grand Prince erected the Church of Holy Saviour, of Honorable Origin of Holy Cross, and of Holy martyr Macovei by flesh, and of his teacher Eleozar and his mother Solomonia, erected at the pit from the river. The same year the building of a stone dam from the Moskva River to the mouth of the Neglinnaya started. The same year Grand Prince Vasily Ivanovich founded stone Holy Annunciation church in Vorontsovo. The same year Grand Prince Vasily founded another stone church of Annunciation of the Holy Virgin behind the Neglinnaya in Old Khlynovo14.

In First Novgorod Chronicle of younger edition it is said under 1442: "The same year God-loving Novgorod Archbishop Eufimei erected St. Saviour Transfiguration church in Rusa, on the basis of the old, with help of the people of Novgorod and Rusa, and was completed in September 13 day15. In 1445 "Archbishop Eufimei of Great Novgorod erected the stone church of St. Varlam in Hootin, with the bell-tower on top. The same year Archbishop Eufimei of Great Novgorod founded the Monastery of St. George in Gorodok, and renewed the stone wall, and renewed and painted the Church of St. George, where it had fallen... The same year the Archbishop Eufimei erected the warm stone Church of St. Eufimya in his palace and painted it and decorated with icons, and everything was made in four months16.

Typograph Chronicle reports under 1017: "Yaroslav founded the great city of Kiev and erected Golden Gate and founded St. Sofia church17.

So, a number of examples, which show that the chroniclers usually shared the terms "to erect", "to complete", "to consecrate", "to begin construction" and "to found", can be cited.

Fifthly, one-year period for construction of temples of scale of Boris and Gleb church in Kideksha and Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl was quite usual in ancient Russia. For example, within a year were built: in Novgorod the Churches of Boris and Gleb (1167), of the Savior on the Nereditsa (1198), of the Saviour in Staraya Russa (1198), of Paraskeva at the Marketplace (1207), of St. Nicholas on the Lipna (1292), of Spas in Kovalevo (1345), of Assumption on Volotovo Field (1352), of Our Saviour at Ilyin street (1374), of Demetrius of Salonika at Slavkov Street (1463); in Pskov the Church of Basil from Gorka (1413), in Gdov Assumption Church (1361), in Smolensk the Churches of St. Peter and Paul at Gorodyanka (1146), and of Michael Archangel (Svirskaya, 1194); in Rostov Boris and Gleb Church (1287); in Moscow the Churches of St. John of the Ladder (1329), of Our Saviour at Bor (1330), the Cathedral of Archangel Michael (1333), the Cathedral of Chudov Monastery (1365), the Church of Nativity of the Virgin (1393), the second Annunciation Cathedral (1416) and many others.

Therefore, the message of Rostov chronicler adequately, consistently and unequivocally says that all listed temples and fortresses of Yuri Dolgoruky were constructed in 1152.

Thus, the suggestion of N.N. Voronin and O.M. Ioannisian, that the chronicler "summarized" Dolgorukys buildings, is an attempt to disavow the message of Typograph Chronicle.

Undoubtedly, there were occasions when chroniclers "summarized" buildings, and confused the terms, and made mistakes. But a priori critical attitude to invaluable documentary information of mid-XII century is unacceptable, and it will be possible to acknowledge the message of Rostov chronicler false or "summarizing" only in the case of exceptionally strong and significant counter-arguments, leaving no doubts (a similar situation occurred in our study of the question whether a cathedral was built in 1148 in Suzdal, see Chapter 3).

Let us see whether the arguments of N.N. Voronin and O.M. Ioannisian qualify for such an exceptional value and reliability.

First, as we have showed in Chapter 2, there was the direct influence of "Holy Roman Empire" to the architecture of Dolgoruky (and not through the distant province of Galicia, but through the nearest neighbor of Suzdal Novgorod), and that Dolgorukys temples were built by local craftsmen under the guidance of local architects, who had been trained in Western Europe. Consequently, Yuri Dolgoruky possessed not of Galician or Lesser Polish artel, but of architects and a number of skilled craftsmen (B.A. Ognev called them "construction squad"18), and they could, using local construction personnel, organize the simultaneous construction in several cities (respectively, in 1152 in Pereslavl-Zalessky, Suzdal, Yuriev-Polsky, Kideksha and Vladimir).

Secondly, the famous "Antimension" from St. Nicholas Cathedral at Dvorishe in Novgorod, which says about the consecration by Nifont, Archbishop of Novgorod, of some "altar of St. George" in 1148 (O.M. Ioannisian attracted this antimension as the justification for the dating of St. George Cathedral in Yuriev-Polsky by 114819), has very doubtful authenticity. A special study of the author is devoted to this issue20, here it makes sense to list only the main arguments:

uncharacteristic for church documents wording occurs in the text of "Antimension": Consecrated by Nifont, Archbishop of Novgorod, by order of Rostov Bishop Nestor. Even if we had been talking about the priests who were directly under each other, it would have been more appropriate to say "by blessing". And here we see that the bishop of one region "commands" to consecrate a church the bishop of another region, who is not subordinated to him either nominally or actually;

Archdiocese of Novgorod was founded only in 1165 (in the mentioned study of the author this issue is examined in details), and Nifont is named as Archbishop in the text on the document from Hermitage;

in 1148, Bishop Nifont came to Yuri Dolgoruky. The Chronicle describes in details all of what the Bishop of Novgorod was engaged in during his stay in Suzdal21, but there is nothing about the consecration of St. George church (and even more of such exceptional importance, as St. George Cathedral in Yuriev-Polsky;

clear signs "artificial aging" are seen at the document.

In the mentioned study the author of the book gave the version of the origin of this document. It can be briefly expressed as follows: there is no doubt that in XIII-XV centuries Grand Princes of Vladimir, and then of Moscow, repeatedly were to show Novgorod its place. The writing of a document which shows that Bishop Nestor "commanded" Archbishop Nifont to consecrate a temple, could be one of such actions. This paper dating was quite logical: 1148 was a well-known date of Nifonts arrival to Suzdal. In this case, it becomes easy to understand and answer the question, how the document appeared in Novgorod: it was made specifically to be brought there with some Vladimir or Moscow embassy.

Consequently, the document, which is stored in Hermitage, is not an evidence of consecration by Bishop Nifont in 1148 of some temple of St. George, and we can not rely on this text in the analysis of historical situation, researches on church history and dating of any temple.

 Third, if we accept the version of O.M. Ioannisian that St. George's Cathedral in Yuriev-Polsky was built (or at least founded) in 1148, we shall have to move to this date also the foundation of Yuriev fortress, disavowing thereby the message of Rostov chronicler not only in respect of the churches, but also in respect of fortresses.

And we can not suppose after O.M. Ioannisian that Rostov chronicler "summarized" also Dolgorukys fortresses, which were built in 1148-1157, because the message of Typograph Chronicle says nothing about the fortresses in Dmitrov (1154) and Moscow (1156).

Thus, no argument of N.N. Voronin and O.M. Ioannisian refutes the message of Typograph Chronicle, and we can fully trust Rostov chronicler and confirm the traditional date 1152 as basic for all five temples of Dolgoruky.

But the question arises: is it the date only of the foundation of the temples, or all those churches were fully built during that year? Did Dolgoruky see his temples completed?

Rostov chronicler clearly shows all Dolgorukys churches as fully built in 1152. Other chronicles give no information with regard to the temples in Kideksha and Yuriev-Polsky.

The construction of Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl in Yuris lifetime is confirmed by Stepennaya Book: beautified it wonderfully with adorable painting and holy icons. There is a number of chronicle reports that in 1157 Andrey "completed the stone church of Holy Saviour, which had been founded by his father"22. N.N. Voronin believed that it was said about Pereslavl. If this is true (although that could be also said about the Church of Our Saviour in Suzdal), then in 1157 majolica floors could be arranged, the dome could be gilded, and other work, defined as repair, could be conducted. Consequently, we have no right to doubt in the message of Rostov chronicler about the full construction of Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl (and the Church of Our Saviour in Suzdal) in 1152.

The situation with St. George church in Dolgorukys courtyard in Vladimir is somewhat more complicated. Avraamkas Chronicle, contrary to Typograph, gives 1157 as the date of construction23. N.N. Voronin accepted that date24, considering it to be closer to the beginning of construction of new fortifications of Vladimir (1158), since, according to the researcher, the building of the Prince's courtyard outside the fortifications was unlikely, and in 1157 the new fortress could have been "projected".

But Yuri, the Prince of Suzdal since the beginning of XII century, was to have a courtyard in Vladimir long before 1157. There is nothing surprising in the arrangement of the Prince's courtyard outside the "Pecherny" city: the courtyard standpoint was extremely advantageous by natural protection (on a cliff between two ravines), and at the short "field" side of the courtyard there certainly was a rampart (we shall talk about Vladimir courtyard of Dolgoruky in more details in Chapter 8).

And since Vladimir Chronicle tells about the building of St. George church in 115325, and this date is not significantly different from the date given by Rostov Chronicle (the difference could be conditioned by the details of attributing of some works to building or decoration), we accept 1152 as the date of construction of the church.

Thus, we unequivocally accept 1152 as the date of the Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha.

 

2. Some features of architecture of the Church of Boris and Gleb

 

Boris and Gleb Church in Kideksha had one cupola, 4 pillars and 3 apses. It is preserved only partly. In XVI-beginning of XVII century (as N.N. Voronin thought26), its head and part of the arches collapsed. The version that the top of the temple collapsed, and was not rebuilt due to emergency condition or for any other reason, is confirmed by the fact that now the walls of the Church of Boris and Gleb have a significant slope outwards, i.e. they were drifted by the heavy drum.

In 1660s the head, arches and eastern pillars of the church were completely dismantled, and the apse and eastern parts of the northern and southern walls dismantled to the level of the arcature zone. Then the eastern pillars were folded again, and the temple was covered by the closed vault with a small head. In this form the temple still survives (Fig. 26 and 27).

 

Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. General view.

Fig. 26. Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. General view.

 

Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. The remaining parts (by A.D. Varganov).

Fig. 27. Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. The remaining parts (by A.D. Varganov).

 

The Church in Kideksha is built of high-quality white stone blocks, perfectly treated and laid almost dry. The plan of the temple, without taking apses into account, is very close to the square (approximately 15 x 15 m). The length of the temple, including the apses, about 18 m. Side of the omphalos 4.9 m (the plan of the temple is shown at Fig. 28).

 

Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. Plan.

Fig. 28. Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. Plan.

 

The walls are divided by the exterior lisenes into three unequal parts (middle part is wider and higher). Ledge-like narrowing of the exterior lisenes creates the "perspective" of the wall parts. Inner lisenes match the external lisenes and cross-like pillars. An unloading arch is lined over the western portal in the interior wall (Fig. 29).

 

Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. Unloading arch in the interior.

 

Fig. 29. Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. Unloading arch in the interior.

 

The dimensions of Borisoglebskaya Church, the side of the omphalos, overall proportions, architecture features, profile of lisenes, decoration are close to another preserved temple of 1152 Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl. In this regard, the upper parts of the Church in Kidelsha are quite adequately reconstructed by analogy with the Cathedral in Pereslavl (as Y.Y. Savitsky and N.A. Egorov did27 Fig. 30).

 

Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. Reconstruction by Y.Y. Savitsky and N.A. Egorov.

Fig. 30. Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha. Reconstruction by Y.Y. Savitsky and N.A. Egorov.

 

But it should be noted that these churches have a number of important differences:

in the Church of Boris and Gleb the northern, western and southern facades are equal by width and perfectly symmetrical, and the apses, protruding to the east, create the significant "overbalance" of the eastern side of the facades over the western. In Saviour Cathedral this violation of the masses on the lateral facades, created by the apses, is decreased due to the fact that the eastern divisions of the northern and southern facades are about 1/6 less then of western ones28;

the socle of Borisoglebskaya Church (now located below the day surface29) has simple rectangular form, and in Pereslavl cathedral the socle has the form of non-profiled deflux;

the portals of the Church in Kideksha, compared with the portals of Savior Cathedral, have two additional ledges that create larger "perspective" than in Pereslavl;

the profile of the basement of the Church of Boris and Gleb is trapezoidal. Its basis is made of a number of rough-treated white stone blocks, laid on continental clay, and the foundation itself is made of large cobbles on the lime. The total depth of the basement about 1.5 m30. The foundation of Pereslavl cathedral is less deep (1.2 m), but also reaches the continental clay. Up to 0.8 m deep the foundation of Saviour Cathedral decreases steeply, then narrows31;

the drum of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral is decorated with porebrik and crenate belt, on top of the apses there are arcature, porebrik and carved tore. In the Church of Boris and Gleb, the drum also had crenate belt (its remains were found under the roof of the temple32), the decor of the apses is unknown to us, but in this church, in contrast to Pereslavl, the deflux at the level of the choir is decorated by arcature with porebrik at the level of the choir.

In the western part of Borisoglebskaya church in Kideksha there is a choir, entrance to which is currently being implemented through the rectangular hole in its northern arch. Probably, this is a late entry, but no other traces of the entrance to the choir, as well as of stair-towers or other additions to the temple, are preserved.

During the studying of the church, conducted in 2006 by the author together with T.P. Timofeeva, the latter drew attention to a number of notches for plaster on the western part of the southern wall (Fig. 31), where a stair-tower could be. It is characteristically that the incisions are made on both tiers of the wall part.

 

Western part of the southern wall of the church of Boris and Gleb.

 

Fig. 31. Western part of the southern wall of the church of Boris and Gleb.

 

No trace of the door to the choirs in the southern part of the wall could be found. In the inner side there are clear signs of complete relaying of the lining (Fig. 32). From outside there are the visible traces of the mortgaged window (see Fig. 31), but around it the lining was also relayed, and this lets us suggest that the mortgaged window is also late with respect to XII century.

 

Western part of the southern wall of the Church of Boris and Gleb. View from the choir.


Fig. 32. Western part of the southern wall of the Church of Boris and Gleb. View from the choir.

 

Accordingly, there is a high probability that a stair-tower adjoined the western part of the southern wall. But a definitive answer to this question requires masonry probing (the traces of the door could remain in the rubble of the wall), and new archaeological investigations of the space adjacent to the foundations of the temple. However, the latter can show nothing if the stair-tower was made of wood (probably a similar situation occurred in Pereslavl-Zalessky, where the upper tier of the western fence of the northern wall of Savior Cathedral has clearly expressed doorway, but the archaeological researches33 discovered no traces of the basement of stair-tower).

 

3. The status of the fortress in Kideksha and of the Church of Boris and Gleb

 

The extensions to Borisoglebskaya church are closely related to the question, what was Kideksha in pre-Mongol times a fortified princely residence, or a "full-fledged" city (with permanent population, self-government, trade, crafts, warriors, suburbs and so on).

It is clear that the Church of Boris and Gleb was on the territory of a fortress. In the mid-twentieth century the studies of A.D. Varganov opened the remains of the rampart in the garden to the north-west of Borisoglebskaya church34. But what kind of fortress was it?

The status of Kideksha in pre-Mongolian times and the construction of the church are described in the message of Anania Fedorov, which was recorded in XVIII century according to the words of local old-timers:

On the place, where now there is the church of the village of Kideksha, near that church there was a suburban courtyard of Grand Princes of Suzdal, and right-believing Grand Prince George Vsevolodovich wanted to build a cathedral on the shore of the Nerl, and to move the city with the fortress to a new place, but was stopped by some revelation, and built a new beautiful and wonderful stone cathedral at the old place inside the city fortress, and on the place on the shore of the Nerl, where he had wanted to build the city fortress and the cathedral, he built of stones, which had remained of the building of the cathedral in Suzdal, the church of the Holy martyrs Boris and Gleb, and founded the monastery for monks dwelling, and called that place Kideksha, i.e. abandoned or unsuitable (that is according to the verbal story)35.

N.N. Voronin accepted this message of Anania Fedorov (albeit with the reservation that the latter probably confused Yuri Vladimirovich with Yuri Vsevolodovich36) and thought that Kideksha was a country residence of Dolgoruky, i.e. the latter built the Church of Boris and Gleb in his courtyard37. This view is entrenched in scientific and popular literature: it is often written about the Church in Kideksha that it was located in the fortified residence of Yuri38.

Before all we must note two internal contradictions in the position of N.N. Voronin.

First, the researcher accepted the message of Anania, suggesting that it was about Dolgoruky instead of Yuri Vsevolodovich but in this case he would have been obliged to accept also the hypothesis that Yuri Dolgoruky built the Cathedral of Nativity of the Virgin in Suzdal (Anania said that directly). But the researcher rightly objected to this hypothesis39 (in Chapter 3 we have also shown that Yuri Dolgoruky did not rebuild Suzdal Cathedral).

Secondly, in fact Anania did not say that the Church of Boris and Gleb was built in the courtyard of a Prince. By Fedorov, the Prince's country courtyard was in Kideksha earlier before Princes decision to move there the city of Suzdal. Then the Prince changed his mind, arranged the monastery and built the temple in Kideksha.

Hence, the Church of Boris and Gleb, by Anania Fedorov, was built not as a princely court temple, but as the cathedral of the monastery.

There are internal contradictions and inadequate information also in the message of Anania.

First, as we have seen above, there is the confusion with the names of the princes.

Secondly, we can assume that Anania Fedorov meant exactly Yury Vsevolodovich, and, accordingly, called him the churchwarden of Borisoglebskaya church by mistake. This is confirmed by the following considerations:

it is unlikely that an historian of XVIII century confused Yury Vsevolodovich with Yuri Vladimirovich: in that time the latter was commonly called Dolgoruky, and if Anania had been thinking of him, it is likely that he would have written so;

in the message of Anania the Prince is called right-believing so Anania could say about canonized Yury Vsevolodovich, but not about Dolgoruky.

Third, Anania originated the name "Kideksha" from the Russian word "abandoned". But if, by Fedorov, the Prince built there a monastery, this place in any case could not be called "abandoned", on the contrary it became "Holy". Note that in fact the origin of this name has a very simple explanation: the word "Kideksha" is translated from all Finno-Ugric languages as "stone"40.

And, considering the absurdity of the poll of "local old-timers" in XVIII century about XII century (it's like interviewing of old residents of the city of Aleksandrov in our time about the times of Vasily III and Ivan IV), we unequivocally reject the message of Anania Fedorov as an historical source.

We note that in XVI-XVIII centuries the legend that the church and fortress were built in Kideksha not by Yuri Dolgoruky, but by Yuri Vsevolodovich, was apparently widely distributed. B.M. Pudalov41 quoted the text of a book of the last third of XVI century, connected with Novgorod chronicles: He fought with Constantine, his brother, at the Gza river. Baty king came then and pursued him at the Cit river. And he, the son of Andreys brother Vsevolod, built the Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha, and also Gorodets on the Volga42.

Another opinion, what prince built the temple in Kideksha, is shown in Supraslskaya Chronicle: The Church in Kideksha and the city fortress there, and also Gorodets on the Volga, were erected by Boris Mihalkovich, the son of the brother of Andrey and Vsevolod43. In respect of this chronicle report N.N. Voronin rightly thought that it meant not Boris Mihalkovich, but Boris Yurievich (the son of Dolgoruky), who was buried in the Church of Boris and Gleb with his wife and daughter44.

But such a combination of various sources of information, which say that both Yuri Dolgoruky and his son were the churchwardens, says with a high degree of probability that Kideksha was an appanage of Boris Yurevich, and therefore a "full-fledged" city.

This position is indirectly confirmed by another source Stepennaya Book: And he (Prince Yuri S.Z.) built in Kideksha at the Nerl river near Suzdal stone church in the name of the Holy martyrs Boris and Gleb, where the Holy martyrs common camp was, by their way to Kiev, Boris from Rostov, Gleb from Murom45.

Indeed, it is unlikely that the princes, traveling from different parts of North-Eastern Russia, met just in the middle of the forest: a meeting must have been arranged in advance, and, probably, it was scheduled in the city (at least in the fortress) so in 1147 Yuri Dolgoruky and Svyatoslav Olgovich agreed to meet in Moscow46.

There are also other considerations that Kideksha was a "full-fledged" city and existed long before the Church of Boris and Gleb building there in 1152.

First, the city of Kideksha was located at the intersection of major trade routes by the Nerl, which leaded to the Klyazma, and by Kamenka, on which Suzdal stood.

Secondly, Kideksha was not to the west, but to the east of Suzdal to the direction of Volga Bulgarians, hostile to Russia. Accordingly, if Kideksha had been a small fortified residence of the Prince, the latter could turn out in a "trap" in the case of sudden attack of the enemy. And the presence at the confluence of the Kamenka and the Nerl of a "full-fledged" (and, as we shall soon see, big enough) city as Suzdal outpost was justified.

Thirdly, the author of this book showed47 that Suzdal courtyard of Dolgoruky probably was inside the city walls of Suzdal, near the modern church of Assumption. There was a courtyard of Dolgoruky also in Vladimir. Did the prince need in addition to these closely spaced courtyards one more in Kideksha is a debatable question, and to date we have no right to assume the existence of such a courtyard. A small courtyard of Boris Yurevich certainly was in Kideksha, but Dolgoruky would hardly have built a large white stone church in the courtyard of one of his many sons. Consequently, it is much more likely that the Church of Boris and Gleb was the main urban temple.

Fourth, the fortress in Kideksha was big enough. Its probable configuration is given at the plan by P.A. Rappoport48 (Fig. 33). If the south line of ramparts was located on the last slope to the water meadows (now there is road; possibly in the pre-Mongolian time under this slope the Kamenka flew into the Nerl, but then it retreated to the south, as the Klyazma from Bogolyubovo), the total length of the fortress by north-south was no less than 400 m. If the width of the fortress was from 150 to 300 m, then its total perimeter was at least 1 km. Ramparts of approximately the same length (about 1 km) were in Dmitrov, and slightly longer about 1,4 km in Suzdal.

 

The approximate plan of the fortress in Kideksha (by P.A. Rappoport).

Fig. 33. The approximate plan of the fortress in Kideksha (by P.A. Rappoport).

 

Most likely, during Mongol invasion Kideksha suffered49, but in 1239 the Church of Boris and Gleb was renovated and consecrated, and a white stone seat and a carved altar barrier were probably arranged there50. But, apparently, already in a very short time because of the general deterioration of the economic situation in the region the city fell into decay and its residents moved to nearby Suzdal. In the List of distant and close Russian cities (XIV-XV century) there is no Kideksha51. As N.N. Voronin rightly believed, since the XIV century in deserted Kideksha there was a monastery (registrated to Pechersky of Nizhny Novgorod)52, and the former city church of Boris and Gleb became its cathedral.

 Accordingly, all the fragments of columns, balusters and plinthite, found during excavations around Borisoglebskaya Church in XIX-XX centuries53, could apply to any municipal buildings. But it can be confirmed only by a large-scale archaeological survey, which Kideksha is still waiting for (even N.N. Voronin wrote about the need for such studies as about an "urgent problem"54).

 

 Chapter 5. Questions of architectural history and reconstruction of Andrey Bogolyubskys  

 Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir

 

Sergey Zagraevsky

 

Introduction

Chapter 1.Organization of production and processing of white stone in ancient Russia

Chapter 2. The beginning of Russian Romanesque: Jury Dolgoruky or Andrey Bogolyubsky?

Chapter 3. About the hypothetical intermediate building of the Cathedral of the Nativity of Virgin Mary

 in Suzdal in 1148 and the original view of Suzdal temple of 12221225

Chapter 4. Questions of date and status of Boris and Gleb Church in Kideksha

Chapter 5. Questions of architectural history and reconstruction of Andrey Bogolyubskys  

 Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir

Chapter 6. Redetermination of the reconstruction of Golden Gate in Vladimir

Chapter 7. Architectural ensemble in Bogolyubovo: questions of history and reconstruction

Chapter 8. To the question of reconstruction and date of the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl

Chapter 9. Questions of the rebuilding of Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir by Vsevolod the Big Nest

Chapter 10. Questions of the original view and date of Dmitrievsky Cathedral in Vladimir

Notes

 

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