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Zvenigorod sights
April 4, 2011 13:51



Zvenigorod is a small town not far from Moscow, of the same age. It appeared approximately in 11th century on the high bank of Moscow river. This moment was not fixed in chronicles, and Zvenigorod in mentioned in written sources already as a center of large domain within Moscow Princedom. It was in 14th century. The most outstanding sights of this picturesque town also refer to Middle Ages, namely to early 15th century. They are Uspensky church on Gorodok and Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral of Savvin Storozhevsky monastery, tied with name of Andrey Rublev, the great old-Russian painter.

Uspensky church on Gorodok

Gorodok is place of old Kremlin, nucleus of medieval town. It is a mount, surrounded with deep gullies from three sides and washed by waters of Moscow river from the fourth. Prince Yuri Dmitrievich, got Zvenigorod princedom in 1389, lived here till 1425 and it was flourishing time for this place. Gorodok was surrounded with earthworks, wooden fortress appeared on the top. Here white-stone Uspensky church was built in 1407. Ambitious prince has invited the best masters to paint it. The chronicles saved names of Andrey Rublev, autor of world-known Troitsa icon and hero of Andrey Tarkovsky's film, and of monk Daniil Cherny. Unfortunately, the frescoes didn't survive, and everything we can see now are shadows of figures. However, Tretiakov-gallery icons of so-called Zvenigorodsky Chin, painted by Andrey Rublev, originate from this church.

Architecture of Uspensky church is one of few examples of early Moscow architecture, with specific silhouette and vault construction. Church exterior is designed with decorative pillars and bands of ornament, looking like meshed hearts. Such ornament is called Balkan, because it originates from South-Slavonic manuscripts. This demonstrates wide cultural connections between East European countries and ways of the artists from Balkan lands carrying on wars with the Turks.

Savvin Storozhevsky monastery

The monastery was founded in the late 14th century on Storozhevsky hill westwards from Gorodok. In 1405, the monastery has got a new cathedral. The building has the same type like Uspensky church: slim white-stone building with graceful crown-like top, designed with refief portals, subtle pillars and bands of carved ornament. The silhouette is distorted by some later improvements. However, it doesn't spoil it, demonstrating respect attitude of care towards the ancient building in 16 and 17 centuries. There is a museum on the territory of monastery.
 

Getting around

Zvenigorod is easy available by car and public transport. You can take suburban train from Belorussky Railway station in Moscow, or bus or shuttle, leaving from Kuntsevskaya metro station. If you travel by car, take Novorizhskoye (M-9) or Rublevo-Uspenskoye (A-105) highways.

Zvenigorod is a prestigious place to live, so it is sometimes called Moscow Switzerland. There are many different tours and guided excursions in the town, offered in Moscow offices and in Zvenigorod as well, so you can choose.


zveni.narod.ru
www.vector-vita.ru
Photos: www.temples.ru


Author: Yulia Buzykina


Tags: Zvenigorod Russian tourism Andrei Rublev   

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