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Veliky Novgorod: St. Nicholas Cathedral
August 16, 2015 16:21


No one can argue with the fact that the best known cathedral of Veliky Novgorod is Saint Sophia behind the Kremlin walls. But there is another cathedral reflected in the waters of the Volkhov River on the opposite bank – it is also huge, five-domed and very ancient.

Only St. Sofia Cathedral has a central dome of gold, and this one is gray. The St. Nicholas Cathedral on the Court is very well-preserved for its age, including a variety of amenities and interesting things accumulated during the nine-century history. The stone interjacent inner floor built in XVII century provided for a broad and romantic place under the church with vaults and thick columns.

There are choir balcony where a spiral staircase leads, a mysterious door to nowhere built in the wall at the level of the third tier - whether from some princely tower (but it should be too high) or from an external wooden staircase tower. Small side altars appeared on the balcony later, their dedication is another mystery. Extensions were built on the sides of the cathedral in XIX century, one of them, the northern one, has miniature columns of ancient order that look touching against the backdrop of the severe ancient cathedral.

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There are no original icons left in the cathedral because of frequent fires that were complemented by the Moscow conquest, when the grand princes took the famous shrines away to their place, to the south, in several steps. This was the way the ancient miraculous round icon of St. Nicholas was lost - it was taken to Moscow, where it got burnt down in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in a fire in 1626. The residents of Novgorod were left a list of shrines instead of the things taken away, the list is preserved in the museum in the Novgorod Kremlin, just like the most part of other icons of the cathedral of XVI century. If you walk through the pedestrian bridge from the river, from the Trade Side, the Kremlin will slowly grow, becoming higher and more significant with every step. And if you approach the Kremlin park from the broad Sennaya Square, the fortress which is initially barely visible through the trees will suddenly appear as a whole, in all its glory and power. But the best look of the Novgorod Kremlin can be perceived from the water - if you sail along Volkhov from Ilmen Lake, the red brick walls and towers of the Kremlin can be seen already from the Gorodishche (ancient settlement, in comparison to which the fortress built in X century became known as Novgorod, which means “new city”). 

Then you gradually begin to discern the details – loopholes of the towers, battlements of the walls, ancient and relatively new buildings. The chimes of the bells are carried by the water to tens of kilometers, strengthening the sense of timelessness.

Read more about Veliky Novgorod...




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Veliky Novgorod     

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