Assumption Cathedral


The Assumption Cathedral (1158 - 1160) is a world-famous monument. The commission of Andrei Bogoliubsky erected the white-stone temple. After the capital had been transferred from Kyiv to Vladimir and the Metropolitan had moved there, the cathedral got the status of the major house of worship in Russia, having in its possession the image of the Holy Virgin, the patron icon of Russia.

Its gilded domes and the facade, bearing a frieze of arches and columns, emphasize impressiveness and solemnity. The cathedral of Vladimir was the prototype of the Assumption Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin.

Vladimir's house of worship served as a shrine for the mortal remains of princes and high priests. The bones of Andrei Bogoliubsky, canonized in the 18th century, were laid to rest there.

The interior of the cathedral is conspicuous for its exquisiteness and luxury. Ancient chroniclers compared it to the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The murals of the cathedral were executed in different periods. Most of them are dated by the late 19th century. The ancient paintings comprise only an insignificant part of the total surface of the frescoes.

In 1408 Andrei Rublev and Daniel Cherny painted some frescoes for the cathedral. The representation of "Last Judgment" by Andrei Rublev is the only one relatively intact. The saints, provided with human features, win the viewer's heart by their kindness and gentleness. Their figures are graceful and refined.

Andrei Rublev painted 83 icons for the Assumption Cathedral. Some of them are on show in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Russian Museum of St.-Petersburg.

In 1773 the iconostasis was replaced by a new one which still exists. Under the vaults of this cathedral, Peter and Alexei of Moscow used to conducted services. From 1917 to 1922, the future Patriarch Sergius read his sermons there.

In 1952 - 1954 and 1974 - 1982, the cathedral went through a restoration financed by the Russian Orthodox Church. The temple was prepared for its 800th anniversary, celebrated in 1989 in Vladimir.

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