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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



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



Chapter 2.

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


1. Terms


First of all, it is necessary to define what we mean by Russian Romanesque.

This term was suggested by F. Halle even in 1920s for pre-Mongol white stone churches of North-Eastern Russia1. In Soviet times it was almost not used, because for such terminology, which directly linked architecture of Ancient Russia and Western Europe, there was an unofficial ban.

In the post-Soviet era this term was used by A.I. Komech in the name of his scientific work and without comments, i.e. as a kind of unconditional reality2.

However, this term is actually quite conventional, and its scientific use requires a number of reservations.

Perhaps the main attribute that determines the "Russian Romanesque" is smoothly-treated white stone construction. The vast majority of Romanesque churches and castles in Western Europe were built of stone, only minor temples and civil buildings were built of brick at that time. As we have said in Chapter 1, in Byzantium (except some of its provinces) building was held in brick (plinthite) or in mixed media opus mixtum. The same brick or mixed was the construction of Kiev, Novgorod, Pskov, Polotsk, Smolensk, Chernigov, Southern Pereslavl, Vladimir Volhynia and all other ancient lands, except Galicia and Suzdal.

The second most important feature of Romanesque architecture, embodied in pre-Mongolian architecture of North-Eastern Russia, was the sculptural decoration of ornamental and zooanthropomorphous types. Let us define these terms: in the decoration of zooanthropomorphous type there are images of people and animals, in contrast to the ornamental type (arcature, ornament, porebrik row of stones or bricks placed at an angle to the outer surface of the wall).

Perspective portals are another important element of Romanesque. We see them in Galicia and Suzdal.

Note that in pre-Mongol architecture of other ancient Russian duchies there also were many Romanesque elements: arcature decoration (as in St. Sophia of Novgorod, cathedrals in St. Anthony and St. George Monasteries in Novgorod, and many others), stair towers (as in St. Sophia cathedrals in Kiev and Novgorod, and many others), "tower-like" form (as of the churches of Parasceva Pyatnitsa at the Marketplace in Novgorod and of Archangel Michael in Smolensk), colorful decoration of facades (as in Boris and Gleb Church in Grodno), and even the evidence of basilica (as in some churches in Polotsk principality). This emphasizes the arbitrariness of the term Russian Romanesque again.

There is another reason why even with respect to Suzdal we may use the term "Russian Romanesque" only conditionally. In North-Eastern Russia neither in pre-Mongol, nor in post-Mongol time any basilica was built: all temples (except for some pillarless and hip churches) had Greek-cross plans. Even Assumption Cathedral in Moscow (1475-1479), the inner space of which was solved in the spirit of Gothic "hall church", and Trinity Church in Chashnikovo (XVI century), devoid of altar apses, are classical Greek-cross temples by architectural type.

We can complete our conversation about the conventions of the term "Russian Romanesque" by a quote from I.E. Grabar: "Nowhere else can be met a church, a cathedral, a palace or a building that could be taken as an example of Vladimir churches. You can only find particular, but can not find anything in the whole of identity"3.

Now, having defined some terms, we can proceed to evaluate the roles of Yuri Dolgoruky (born in the beginning of 1090s, died in 1157, ruled in Suzdal since 1113 (probably since 1096), the Grand Prince of Kiev since 1155) and Andrey Yurievich Bogolyubsky (ca. 1111-1174, ruled in Suzdal since 1157) in the formation of Ancient Russian architecture and, in particular, of Russian Romanesque.

Among historians there is a strong stereotype detracting Dolgorukys activity compared with the activity of Bogolyubsky. Perhaps a role here is played by a very negative image of Yuri, which was established by Kiev chronicles, to which the historians of XVIII-XIX centuries orientated.

Thus, V.N. Tatishchev wrote: This Grand Prince had a considerable growth, was thick, had a white face, not very big eyes, long and curved nose, small beard, was a great lover of women, sweet food and drinks; was considered more about fun than about ruling and army, and all his ruling lay in power of his ministers and favorites He did a few things himself, more his children and allied princes did4 M.M. Shcherbatov considered that Yuri was nicknamed Dolgoruky like Persian king Ahasuerus for the greed to acquire5. And even modern Russian Encyclopedic Dictionary more tactfully, but also not quite complimentary reports that hands of Yuri stretched from Suzdal to Kiev, and for that he received his nickname6.

Andrey Bogolyubsky, who was canonized in the beginning of XVIII century, looked in his court chronicles much more attractively. Of course, a great importance for the formation of his stereotypes as a "martyr" and "collector of Russian lands"7 a masterpiece of Ancient Russian literature "The story of Andreys death"8 had.

And even Bogolyubskys death of the hands of murderers turned out to be much more "honorable" than Dolgorukys death by poison or excessive gluttony at the feast. And the fact that the dead body of Andrei Yurievich lay under the wall of the palace for a long time (and the squad and townspeople knew about his death), and then the priests were not allowed to bring his body into the church, and it, being wrapped into a carpet, lay two days in the forechurch, Soviet historiography interpreted more positively than negatively: it was explained as a consequence of rejection by the boyars and "backward" citizens of Bogolyubskys activity in collecting of Russian lands.

In this study there is no place for discussions if Dolgorukys activity was destructive or constructive, and how significant his historic role was in relation to the role of his son. Whose victories over feudal lords, "free" Novgorod and Volga Bulgars were more significant for "collecting of Russian lands" of Dolgoruky or Bogolyubsky? Was the struggle of Yuri Vladimirovich against his nephew Izyaslav Mstislavich, the usurper of Kiev table in accordance with the concept of that time, unfair? Didnt Yuri, having become the Grand Prince, intend to rule in Kiev the rest of his life and to settle Kiev, just as he had settled Suzdal in the earlier decades? Can Andrey, who moved the capital to Vladimir and referred to Kiev as to a hostile state, be called a "collector of Russian lands"?

All these issues are to be investigated by the means of general history, but we are dealing with history of architecture. And so, firstly we shall look at the overall scope of church, fortification and civil construction of Yuri and Andrey.


2. Overview of architecture of Yuri Dolgoruky and of Andrey Bogolyubsky


Let's start with the listing of Yuri Vladimirovichs known buildings:

1. Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl-Zalessky;

2. Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha;

3. St. George's Cathedral in Juriev-Polsky;

4. Church of St. George in Dolgorukys courtyard in Vladimir;

5. Church of Our Saviour in the city of Suzdal9;

6. Big city-fortress of Pereslavl (ramparts length about 2,5 km);

7. Fortress in Juriev-Polsky;

8. Probably, the fortress in Kideksha (see Chap. 4);

9. Fortresses in Moscow and Dmitrov;

10. Probably the fortresses in Zvenigorod, Peremyshl, Gorodets and Mikulin10;

11. Fortified yard in Vladimir (see Chap. 8);

12. Probably two palaces in Kiev11;

13. "Lives of the Holy Fathers of Kiev-Pechersky Monastery" called Dolgoruky also a builder of Nativity Cathedral in the city of Suzdal12 (early XII century). We shall discuss Yuris participation in this construction in details in Sec. 3.

Also note that Yuri Dolgoruky made the exploration and primary (most problematic) development of quarries in Suzdal (see Chap. 1).


Known construction of Andrei Yurevich:

1. Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir;

2. Assumption Cathedral in Rostov;

3. Church of Our Saviour Transfiguration in Vladimir;

4. Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl river;

5. Church of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin in Bogolyubovo;

6. The white stone palace in Bogolyubovo;

7. White stone fortress in Bogolyubovo;

8. Big city-fortress of Vladimir (the increment of the perimeter walls comparing with Monomachs city about 4400 m);

9. Golden Gate in Vladimir with the Church of Deposition of the Robe;

10. Silver Gate in Vladimir.


Thus, the overall scale of construction of Yuri Dolgoruky and Andrey Bogolyubsky looks quite comparable.

Yuri Dolgoruky was the first who started European stone technology using in Suzdal. Ornamental decoration of "universal" Romanesque type, used on many temples in Western European countries (Figs. 10 and 11), was applied in Pereslavl and Kideksha (Figs. 12 and 13). In the Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha we see a perspective portal.

One of the many hundreds of European churches with the "universal" Romanesque decoration (village Oberrehrenbach, Bavaria, XIII century).

Fig. 10. One of the many hundreds of European churches with the "universal" Romanesque decoration (village Oberrehrenbach, Bavaria, XIII century).


"Universal" Romanesque decoration on the cathedral in Speyer.

Fig. 11. "Universal" Romanesque decoration on the cathedral in Speyer.


"Universal" Romanesque decoration on Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl-Zalessky.

Fig. 12. "Universal" Romanesque decoration on Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl-Zalessky.


"Universal" Romanesque decoration on the Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha.


Fig. 13. "Universal" Romanesque decoration on the Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha.


Stretched up drums of Jurys temples, combined with a relatively small tchetverik (the main volume of the building), give the "tower-like" very European form of construction. G.K. Wagner wrote that the churches of tower-like type had a dynamic striving upward, and it is possible that if the development of altitude architecture had not been interrupted by Mongol invasion, Russia would have known something akin to Gothic13.

Small size of Dolgorukys temples was rigidly conditioned by "the limit of reliability" of white stone building. The author of this book showed14 that almost all the temples that exceeded the bounds of reliability, which had been defined by Yuris craftsmen (the inner space of the main volume less than 200 sq. m, the side of the under-cupola square no more than 6 m) had a very short "period of life". For example, Andrey Bogolyubskys cathedral in Rostov collapsed, being only 42 years old, and in Sec. 5 we shall see that Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir already in 1185 had to be built up by high galleries, which played the role of buttresses.

The limit of reliability of white stone construction, defined by the craftsmen of Dolgoruky, was successfully (albeit unsignificantly) exceeded only twice in history of ancient architecture: in Trinity Cathedral of Trinity-Sergius Monastery (1422-1427) and in the Church of the Transfiguration in Ostrov (end of XVI century)15. Those "pyramid" temples were outstanding achievements of construction engineering even for their time. And we're talking about the XII century.

Researchers of ancient architecture of XIX-first half of XX century (as N.P. Kondakov16, D.N. Berezhkov17, A.S. Uvarov18, A.I. Nekrasov19, F. Halle20) recognized the continuity of Bogolyubskys architecture on architecture of Dolgoruky. But this situation changed radically after the publishing of the major work of N.N. Voronin: Architecture of North-Eastern Russia of XII-XV centuries21.

N.N. Voronin thought that Yuri Dolgoruky, "a convinced philhellenist, who married a Byzantine princess, was a friend of Novgorod Archibishop Nifont and his like-minder in matters of church policy"22, applied in his architecture some features of Romanesque only by chance. According to N.N. Voronin, "if we imagine Yuris temples built of brick, they will differ little from the contemporary buildings of Ancient Russia in the sense of lack of Romanesque features23. The researcher noted that the arcature was still on Sophia in Novgorod, Yuris portals are not Romanesque, and his temples have no decorative carvings and profiled details24.

And for the fact of white stone building (the defining characteristic of "Russian Romanesque") N.N. Voronin adhered the version of N.P. Kondakov and D.N. Berezhkov that Yuri had no craftsmen, and since he feud with the overwhelming majority of Russian principalities, he had to invite an artel from Galicia25. Consequently, by N.N. Voronin, the beginning of white stone building in Suzdal land also was not a hallmark of Dolgoruky.

Thus, Yuri Dolgoruky appears in the fundamental work of N.N. Voronin as a provincial governor, who did not have his own craftsmen and had to use an artel from distant Galicia. Accordingly, the entire architecture of Yuri, which "accidentally" united Byzantine and Romanesque features, turned out to the provincial and eclectic.

This view is fully shared by O.M. Ioannisian, who specified that the artel that came to Suzdal from Galicia in the late 1140-1150s, formerly (until 1110s) had worked in another Western province Lesser Poland26.

And only architecture of Andrey Bogolyubsky, who had craftsmen from Frederick Barbarossa27, and "from all lands"28, according to N.N. Voronin29 (to whom O.M. Ioannisyan30 and A.I. Komech31 joined), turned out to be at the Grand princes (and even at the imperial) level.

This is now a stereotyped view at Bogolyubskys architecture, not less stable than the stereotypical view at Andrei Yurievich himself as a "martyr" and "collector of Russian lands."


3. Criticism of the "Galician version"


We are in no way going to belittle the importance of Andrey Bogolyubskys architecture. Big Assumption Cathedrals in Vladimir and Rostov, zooanthropomorphous decoration of churches, "ceremonial" Golden Gate and the Church of Intercession on the Nerl (and presumably the Church of Our Saviour in Vladimir see Chap. 8), white stone city walls and the palace-temple complex in Bogolyubovo (see Chap. 7), all the above was an invaluable contribution to the treasury of Russian and world architecture.

We're going to show that the architecture of Yuri Dolgoruky was not a "provincial" in any case, that it was exactly the real beginning of Russian Romanesque, and that architecture of Andrey Bogolyubsky can not be considered outside the context of architecture of his father.

The scale of Dolgorukys construction and that his craftsmen identified the limit of reliability" of white stone building for many centuries ahead, we have already mentioned in Section 2. We shall now consider "Galician version" the version of hypothetical architectural influence of Galicia at Suzdal and of the coming of craftsmen from Galicia to Yuri.

Detailed criticism of Galician version was shown by the author of this study in the book "Yuri Dolgoruky and ancient Russian white stone architecture32, and here it makes sense to mention only a few key points.

First, as we said in Sec. 1, construction of white stone was many times more expensive than of brick. And even if we assume the influence of Galicia on Yuri, it is impossible to distribute "Galician influence" on numerous descendants of Dolgoruky (until Ivan III). And white stone building was decisive in North-Eastern Russia for more than three hundred years.

Second, Galicia was a far outskirt in Western Russia, Prince Vladimirko Volodarevich a representative of a branch of outcast princes, besides a generation younger than Dolgoruky. Consequently, the probability of hypothetical "Galician influence" on Yuri (a legitimate challenger of Kiev throne), and even more so on future Suzdal, Tver and Moscow princes, who continued to build in white stone for several hundred years, is negligible.

Third, plans and sizes of Galician churches of the first half of XII century are absolutely different33 (Fig. 14). Methods of surface treatment of units in Galicia and Lesser Poland differ significantly from those used in Pereslavl and Kideksha. Lesser Poland churches do not belong to Greek-cross type. Consequently, a logic of the work of a hypothetical Polish-Galician-Suzdal artel can not be traced.


Fig. 14. Plans of Galician and Suzdal churches (by O.M. Ioannisian):
1  Church of St. John in Przemysl;
2  Church in Zvenigorod Galitsky;
3  Church of Our Saviour in Galich;
4  Church in "Tsvintariski";
5  Our Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl;
6  Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha;
7  St. George Church in Vladimir; 
8  Church of Deposition of the Robe on Golden Gate in Vladimir.


Fig. 14. Plans of Galician and Suzdal churches (by O.M. Ioannisian):

1 Church of St. John in Przemysl;

2 Church in Zvenigorod Galitsky;

3 Church of Our Saviour in Galich;

4 Church in "Tsvintariski";

5 Our Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl;

6 Church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha;

7 St. George Church in Vladimir;

8 Church of Deposition of the Robe on Golden Gate in Vladimir.


Fourth, even assuming that in Lesser Poland, Galicia and Suzdal one and the same hypothetical artel was building, then isnt it strange why in a half-century (1110-1150s) no competitors for that artel appeared? And isnt it strange that the work of such "superartel" was not reflected in annals? The invitation of skilled craftsmen was an extraordinary event: let us recall the craftsmen "of all lands" and the craftsmen "of Frederick Barbarossa" at Andrey Bogolyubsky (see Sec. 6), and important reservation of Vsevolods chronicler, that the prince "did not look for craftsmen at the Germans (see Chap. 9).

Fifth, the construction artel consisted at least of 80 people (with their wives and children more than 200 people)34 and the passage of so many people (and not vagrants or merchants, but valuable builders) from Galich to Suzdal at the distance of over 1300 km (by a straight line, and by the rivers more than 2500 km) through several hostile principalities is highly unlikely. Every prince or governor could stop the artel and make work for himself. Or even destroy, to prevent the enemy to build temples and fortresses.

Sixth, in the book "Yuri Dolgoruky and ancient Russian white stone architecture"35 the author of this study substantiated: if the requirements for timing and quality of construction allowed the use of local personnel, the princes, as a rule, preferred that option. Naturally, it is primarily about the "ordinary" builders (i.e. the vast majority of the artel). Architects, icon-painters, jewelers and other unique and highly specialized professionals could move from prince to prince and from town to town very often.

And when there were no orders for construction, local craftsmen could carry on any handicraft (mostly carpentry), and even peasant labor. Moreover, the construction might not be their primary qualification. They were and remained urban artisans or farmers, and work on the construction gave them opportunity to earn money and (or) to get an allotment.

With regard to the qualification for "ordinary" construction, any Russian peasant even in our time is capable to perform construction work in very broad profile, especially under the guidance of highly skilled craftsmen. And about the most difficult part of construction erection of arches and drums it is known that this work was carried out by wooden forms36. Consequently, the main work turned out to be carpentry, and the experience of such work in the ubiquitous wooden building in the XII century was enormous.

And let's not forget that in every city many wooden and brick civil buildings were erected except temples and fortifications37. So even for a professional builder the need to move from town to town, and even more so from the principality to principality arose not as a rule, but as an exception.

And the author of this study showed in the book Yuri Dolgoruky and ancient Russian white stone architecture that Yuri had his own craftsmen even since Monomach times38.

Seventh, as we have shown in Sec. 1, the deposits of white stone in Suzdal it was impossible to explore within a year or two. Consequently, the "spontaneity" of stone building, which allegedly forced Yuri to invite Galicia, also can not be an argument in favor of a hypothetical "Galician version": in the case of "spontaneity" the prince would not have had white stone.

If Dolgoruky had "spontaneously" decided to build something, it could only be plinthite (less expansive, but "undesirable") construction. For example, he could have invited craftsmen from his ally Svyatoslav Olgovich of Chernigov (standing, unlike Vladimirko of Galich, at the very top of the princes ladder"), and to build instead of five white-stone churches fifty brick ones (i.e., to carry church building, at a minimum, in the scale of Novgorod and Smolensk).

Eighth, the deposits of limestone of various types, suitable for construction, in Galicia are practically everywhere and come to the surface in many places (for example, along the Dniester). Consequently, the architecture of Galicia apprehended Romanesque earlier than Suzdal due to the presence in Galicia and the absence in Suzdal of building materials, not of craftsmen.

Ninth, 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 George39.

This message of Typograph Chronicle under 1152 eliminates the arrival of an artel from Galicia, since one artel had no time to build more than one temple in a year. N.N. Voronin suggested that the chronicler merely "summarized" the buildings that Yuri Dolgoruky erected within some years40. The proof of accuracy of this chronicle reports and the legality of dating of all listed buildings by 1152 is given in Sec. 4. But in any case the referred annals message is a serious argument against Galician version, and while it is not disavowed clearly, we can not speak about the hypothesis arrival of an artel from Galicia.

Tenth, the origin of "Galician version" refers to the end of XIX century, when in accordance with the tenet "Orthodoxy, national roots, autocracy" it was possible to recognize the influence of any land, but not of Western Europe. And the "version of Transcaucasian influence", also "acceptable" in terms of this dogma, is even less justified than "Galician" (that was clearly demonstrated by V.N. Lazarev41).

In Stalin time Galicia became a part of the USSR, and the Galician version received an additional political weight. Therefore we can assume that the commitment of N.N. Voronin and V.N. Lazarev exactly to this version was largely involuntary. For example, in the end of life in 1970s V.N. Lazarev already wrote that Galician architecture played only a mediating role" between Western European and Suzdals42.

Eleventh, we can not accept even the version of V.N. Lazarev on "a mediating role" of Galician architecture between Western European and Suzdals. "The chain of intermediaries" is too long: it is very far from Suzdal to Galicia, and the way lay through several principalities allies of Izyaslav Mstislavich. And Germany the center of "Holy Roman Empire" respectively, was even further: only Hungary, Bohemia and Lesser Poland bordered Galicia from the west.

But Suzdal land had borders with Veliky Novgorod, which after the last military confrontation in 1148 was at peace, and in 1155 Dolgorukys son Mstislav became Novgorods prince. And in any case Novgorods specifics was that trade had a top priority, and the wars, which Novgorod held, practically did not interfere it. Therefore, "cultural exchange" never stopped.

And Novgorod through its North-German trading partners was directly connected with "Holy Roman Empire." So Dolgoruky could communicate with Western Europe, bypassing Galicia, and Lesser Poland, and numerous hostile principalities.


4. About the direct influence of Western European Romanesque architecture on Dolgorukys architecture


Having shown groundlessness of "Galician version", we must acknowledge the direct impact of Western Europe on architecture of Dolgoruky. More precisely, of its state, which was the most powerful, most centralized and geographically close to Russia, Holy Roman Empire.

And as a direct source of Yuri Dolgorukys architecture we can call no Galicia or Lesser Poland temples, but the Imperial Cathedral in Speyer (1029-1106, Fig. 15).


Cathedral in Speyer. View from the west.


Fig. 15. Cathedral in Speyer. View from the west.


All the arguments that may be cited as justification for similarities of Lesser Poland, Galician and Suzdal churches (masonry of walls and foundations, arkature belts in conjunction with porebrik and carved tore see Fig. 12 and 13), are fully applicable to the Imperial Cathedral:

on the cathedral in Speyer (as on many other Romanesque churches of Western Europe and Suzdal), we see the arcature, porebrik and carved tore (Fig. 11);

the walls of the cathedral at Speyer, as the walls of Dolgorukys temples, are narrowed upwards with the ledge;

the socle of the Imperial cathedral in most of the perimeter is a non-profiled deflux (as in Pereslavl and Kideksha);

rubble foundations of the cathedral in Speyer are significantly wider than the walls, as in Galicia and in Suzdal;

the method of stone blocks facial surfaces treatment in Speyer is identical to Suzdals (and significantly different from Galician and Lesser Polands);

in the omphalos of the Imperial Cathedral a Greek-cross scheme with cross-like pillars is realized (Fig. 16);

in the crypt of the cathedral in Speyer the author of this book managed to find a specific ornamental carving (Fig. 17), about which O.M. Ioannisian considered43 not rightly that it is not found anywhere except on Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl-Zalessky (Fig. 3) and Lesser Polish temples (Fig. 18). Note that the style of carving in Pereslavl is much closer to Speyers than to Polish.

Excellent pan-European significance of the Imperial cathedral in Speyer and its chronological primacy on the temples of Lesser Poland, Galicia and Suzdal suggests that the similarity of architecture of all these Slavic principalities has absolutely convincing rationale the common origin.


Cathedral in Speyer. Plan.

Fig. 16. Cathedral in Speyer. Plan.


Cathedral in Speyer. Carved tore above the pledged internal window in the crypt.


Fig. 17. Cathedral in Speyer. Carved tore above the pledged internal window in the crypt.


Carved cornice of the nave wall of St. Martin collegiate in Opatov (photo by O.M. Ioannisian).


Fig. 18. Carved cornice of the nave wall of St. Martin collegiate in Opatov (photo by O.M. Ioannisian).


Of course, there is a temptation to assume that in 1152 a construction artel (or "construction squad" an architect with several craftsmen44) came to Dolgoruky from "Holy Roman Empire". But we can not accept this point of view.

If European craftsmen had come to Jury, there could have been expected the construction of temples at least in the scale of Crusaders buildings in Palestine. But lets look at the size of Palestinian churches: Church of Holy Sepulcher about 80 x 55 m, the cathedral in Nazareth 68 x 30 m, in Tyre about the same as in Caesarea, "only" 55 x 22 m45. This is not comparable even with Vsevolods Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir (38 x 30 m), not to mention Yuri Dolgorukys temples (average 20 x 15 m).

That was built in poor and unsettled Palestine, under constant wars with the Muslims. And "landmark" Romanesque churches in the Empire were, of course, much bigger. The Cathedral in Pavia (Northern Italy), for example, has dimensions of 60 x 42 m, and the span of the arches of the central nave about 10 m46. In Germany: the Cathedral in Worms about 105 x 36 m, and also with 10 m span of the arches47, and the Cathedral in Speyer 130 x 65 m, the span of the arches 14 m48 (Fig. 16).

Russian soils and construction materials were not fundamentally different from European49, and we can assume that professional ethics of the leading Western artists, if they had worked in Suzdal, would not have allowed the building of the temples, comparable by the size with the churches in small European villages.

Consequently, the arrival of Western craftsmen to Yuri is unlikely, and there is only one option that corresponds to Princes concern about the reflection of state power and ideology in Suzdal architecture (this concern is underscored by the fact of the transition to the expensive, but "imperial" white stone building): in 1152 the churches of Dolgoruky were built by local craftsmen under the guidance of local architects, who had trained in Western Europe50.

In Sec. 6 we shall see that in 1155-1157 Jury addressed the Empire for craftsmen and got them, but died before they came to Suzdal.


5. Criticism of the version of Yuri Dolgorukys "philhellenism"


We can not agree also with the position of N.N. Voronin that Yuri was "a convinced philhellenist, who married a Byzantine princess, was a friend of Novgorod Archibishop Nifont and his like-minder in matters of church policy"51.

Firstly, Yuris marriage to Byzantine princess is a very questionable legend52, but even if it is true, then it is not an evidence of any "philhellenism". For example, it is known that Dolgoruky in 1110 married the daughter of a Polovtsian Prince53 and even led the Polovtsians against Izyaslav Mstislavich54, but no one in this case believes that Yuri had love to Polovtsians.

Secondly, N.N. Voronin's words about "friendship and likeness of mind" of Dolgoruky and Nifont is not sufficiently substantiated.

Nifont was the bishop of Novgorod since 1130, and possibly a Greek55, so his "philhellenism" is likely (though not proven). But he was he a friend and like-minder of Yuri?

Novgorod bishop was actually a professional diplomat and periodically settled princes conflicts (for example, in 1135 and 1141). In 1148 Nifont came to Yuri with a mission to make peace with Izyaslav, but achieved nothing. Nifont went to Suzdal to make peace with Gyurgevi, and was accepted by Gyurgi with love, and made the great consecration of the Church of the Holy Virgin, and all people from New Torzhok got freedom, and all merchants were alive, and he went to Novgorod with honor, but peace was not given56.

Nifonts consecration of Suzdal Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, mentioned in this chronicle fragment, does not indicate any special relationship of the Bishop and the Prince. As we shall show in Sec. 3, temples could be consecrated very often and for many reasons.

In 1149 Clement (Klim Smolyatich), Metropolitan of Kiev and a protege of Izyaslav Mstislavich, locked Nifont in Kiev-Pechersky Monastery for harsh statements in his address. Dolgoruky, having captured Kiev in the end of that year, liberated Nifont from the "caves", and the Bishop went home to Novgorod, where he died in 115657. The liberation of Nifont absolutely naturally follows from the political situation and does not show any "friendship and likeness of mind".

We can conclude from all said about Nifont: there is no doubt that both Nifont and Yuri were enemies of Izyaslav and Clement. But one can hardly speak even about their allied relations, and especially about "friendship and likeness of mind" of Novgorod bishop and the Prince of Suzdal. Mutual respect (as N.M. Karamzin considered58) was possible, but nothing more.

With regard to the initiative of Greek Constantines invitation to the Metropolitan of Kiev in 115659, Dolgorukys efforts for Metropolitan Clements offset could lead to success only in the case of the arrival of an "indigenous" Byzantine, blessed by the Patriarch, and we can not talk here about any "philhellenism" it was a purely political act.

The formal adoption of Byzantium side by Yuri was the same political act (note only formal, no troops to the aid of Byzantium were sent by Dolgoruky) in the conflict with Hungarian king Geza60. Izyaslav Mstislavich was on the side of Geza, and it says everything.

We see that there are no enough facts in our possession to accept Yuris "philhellenism". And the fact that Dolgoruky began to build in Suzdal white stone temples in European technology without considering the cost, many times higher than the cost of technology of Byzantine Empire, shows the opposite. It is hardly necessary to "pin labels", but it turns out that Yuri Dolgoruky was no "philhellenist" but rather an oksidentalist.


6. Yuri Dolgoruky and craftsmen of Frederick Barbarossa


In order to understand completely the key role of Yuri Dolgoruky in formation of Russian Romanesque, we must consider his relation to principal innovations in architecture, which occurred under his son Andrey. This is the work of craftsmen sent by Frederick Barbarossa, and the introduction of zooanthropomorphous sculptural decoration in Suzdal.

And we shall start with the question of craftsmen.

Let us notice immediately that the well-known stereotype associated with the arrival of "craftsmen of all lands" to Andrey applies only to the decoration of Assumption Cathedral of 1158-1160: In the same year the Church of the Holy Mother of God in Vladimir was established by right-believing and God-loving Prince Andrey, and was decorated wonderfully by various icons, and by unnumbered drag stones, and by church vessels, and its top was gilded by his faith and by his zeal for Holy Virgin, God brought him all craftsmen of all lands and adorned it more than other churches61. Consequently, here it is said about no builders, but about highly specialized craftsmen (icon painters, jewelers, etc.), who, as we have seen in Sec. 3, could move from ruler to ruler arbitrarily often.

But we shall argue in no case with the fact that architecture of Bogolyubsky expressed state power and imperial ideology more clearly than Dolgorukys architecture. It is shown by:

huge excess height (14 m) of the arch of Golden Gate of Vladimir (see Chap. 6);

the size of Assumption Cathedrals in Vladimir and Rostov, increased over the temples of Dolgoruky;

building at the "naked field" of the Church of Intercession on the Nerl, which played the role of grand design of the crossroad of major waterways by the Klyazma and the Nerl. Such a role is confirmed by the inability to found any tenements or monastery on flood plains, and by the usage for church construction of selected a white stone, and by laying of the unique foundations (see Sec. 8);

the palace and the fortress in Bogolyubovo, made not of wood, but of white stone;

the presence of zooanthropomorphous sculptural decoration on the temples of Andrey.

All the above makes V.N. Tatischevs message very plausible: "By his (Andreys S.Z.) appeal God gave him craftsmen for his building from advanced lands"; "by the remaining buildings in Vladimir, more so by the city gates, it is seen that the Architect was advanced... The craftsmen were sent from the Emperor Frederick the First, with whom Andrey was in friendship as it will be seen below"62.

In this book we shall not discuss from what area of Holy Roman Empire from Germany (by A.I. Komech63) or from Northern Italy (by O.M. Ioannisian64) the craftsmen came. Not denying the usefulness of such discussions, the author of the study considers the fundamental solvability of this problem as doubtful. The difference between architectural plasticity and construction of the cathedrals of Germany and Northern Italy are less considerable than the difference between them and the churches of Suzdal land. Suzdal churches also vary widely among themselves. Consequently, any search for specific Western prototype of Andrey Bogolyubskys architecture gives too rough results, applicable both to Germany and to Northern Italy.

Particular information here may be provided by the method of historical and motivational model, at one time proposed by the author of this book65: Central German architecture was distinctly of imperial character, and in commercial North Italian cities buildings had some "merchant" appearance. In this regard, we can assume that the invitation of craftsmen from Germany was more likely for the imperial ambitions of Suzdal princes.

And taking into consideration the obvious continuity of Bogolyubskys architecture on Dolgorukys architecture, which directly related to the Imperial Cathedral in Speyer (see Sec. 4), the version of German craftsmen coming to Andrey gets an additional (albeit also indirect) evidence.

But no matter from what area of the Empire the craftsmen from Frederick Barbarossa had come, it follows from Tatischevs message that they built, at least, Assumption Cathedral and Golden Gate in Vladimir. When construction of Golden Gate began, we do not know (its approximate dating 1158-1164, see Chap. 6). But about Assumption Cathedral we know for certain that it was founded on April 8, 115866.

Hence, the architect of Barbarossa, to have time to get acquainted with local experience of white stone construction, and then to determine size and plans of his future buildings (at least, of Assumption Cathedral), was to arrive to Vladimir not later than autumn-winter of 1157.

Tatischevs message is stereotypically perceived as follows: "firstly Andrey's friendship with Frederick, then the arrival of craftsmen from Frederick to Andrey." But the analysis of the situation in Russia in 1155-1158, respectively, makes us interpret this message in other way: firstly the sending of craftsmen by Frederick to Yuri, then the arrival of the craftsmen to Andrey, then Andrey's friendship with Frederick67.

The fact is that Yuri Dolgoruky died on May 15, 1157. Even if we assume that Andrey, having become Grand Prince, immediately dispatched an embassy to Barbarossa for the craftsmen, all the same he could not have managed to get them in autumn or winter of 1157.

For example, at the end of XV century Aristotle Fioravanti travelled to Russia within three months and this despite the fact that straight roads, by which the embassy carriage could move at a high speed, already existed. And we're talking about the middle of XII century, when by narrow and turbulent forest roads (actually trails) only military troops could move, and the main transportation was carried out by rivers (and from Suzdal to Western Europe via Novgorod also by sea).

Embassys way to the Empire could take several months. A few weeks (or even months) it could wait for the craftsmen from Barbarossa (or to search for free craftsmen by the permission of the Emperor). And the way back to Suzdal also took several months.

Consequently, the embassy for the craftsmen, who built the Cathedral of Assumption and Golden Gate, was sent during the life of Yuri Dolgoruky.

Barbarossa was the Emperor of Germany since 1152, and Yuri became Grand Prince of Kiev in 1155. We can only guess if Dolgoruky was "in friendship" with Frederick. But the following options we can immediately reject as highly improbable:

any relationship (moreover friendly) of Yuri as a candidate for Kiev throne with Frederick, the candidate for Empire throne, before 1152;

any relationship (moreover friendly) of Yuri, a candidate for Kiev throne, with Emperor Frederick in 1152-1155;

any relationship (moreover friendly) of Andrey, a son of a candidate for Kiev throne, with Frederick, the candidate for the throne, and then the Emperor, in 1152-1155;

any independent relationship (moreover friendly) of Andrey, a son of Grand Prince Yuri, with Emperor Frederick in 1155-1157.

The latter option may not seem so unlikely: Andrey was the eldest son of Grand Prince of Kiev, and therefore theoretically could have direct contact with the Emperor of Germany.

But let's not forget that Bogolyubsky in 1155-1157 was not in Kiev with his father, but went to Suzdal against the will of Dolgoruky68, having actually usurped Suzdal principality. It is unlikely that Frederick, who had been crowned in Rome in 1155, and in 1156-1157 was already in the zenith of his power, would have had contacts with the usurper (and not of Grand Prince throne, but of a distant principality).

Note that it is unlikely that Andrey was considered even as an official heir of Suzdal table otherwise after the death of Dolgoruky it would not have been necessary to hold a popular assembly, where Rostov and Suzdal people thought and accepted Andrey69. And there was absolutely no hope for Andreys inheritance of Kiev Grand Prince throne that would not have been allowed by other pretenders, who had to bear Yuri at Kiev throne as the eldest in Monomakh family after the death of Vyacheslav Vladimirovich and Izyaslav Mstislavich.

As for very popular conjectures70 that Andrey could have some personal contacts with Frederick in 1140s, those are nothing more than speculation. Besides, Bogolyubsky was elder than Barbarossa by more than 10 years (Andrey was born about 1111, and Frederick in 1122), and it makes the friendship of young princes even less likely, even if they had a hypothetical personal meeting in hypothetical Andreys trips in Western Europe.

Thus, we can assert that the embassy to Barbarossa for the craftsmen was sent by Yuri in 1155-1157, when the latter was the Grand Prince of Kiev. But in 1157 Dolgoruky died, and the craftsmen were received in Suzdal by his son Andrey.

Consequently, we can speak about the sending of the craftsmen by Barbarossa not to Andrey, but to Yuri. Eventually they were received not by Dolgoruky, but by Bogolyubsky, but it does not belittle in any way the merits of Yuri in the obtaining of the imperial craftsmen.


7. The activity in time of Andrey Bogolyubsky of local construction personnel, formed in time of Dolgoruky


We can also show that, despite of the arrival of craftsmen from Western Europe, the decisive importance in Andreys time still belonged to construction personnel, which had been formed in the time of Yuri.

As we have mentioned in Sec. 6, V.N. Tatischevs message says that the craftsmen of Barbarossa built, at least, Vladimir Assumption Cathedral and Golden Gate. And this is logical, as we see at these sites an attempt to build in a much larger scale compared with the temples of Jury:

the side of the omphalos in Assumption Cathedral 6,4 m, span of the Golden Gate arch 6 m (and in Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl 5,1 m);

the height of the arches of Assumption Cathedral 18 meters, of the arch of Golden Gate (where there was not just a drum on the top, but a heavy multi-layered structure with the Church of Deposition of the Robe) 14 m (and in Pereslavl 12 m);

But it's still not comparable with what we see in Germany and Northern Italy (in Sec. 4 we have cited the dimensions of temples in Worms, Speyer and Pavia), and this excludes the work of imperial construction artel in Suzdal.

It is also important that we see identical marks of princely craftsmen in the temples in Pereslavl and Kideksha, and in Golden Gate, and in Bogolyubovo71.

The following conclusion may be done from the above: only the craftsmen by sculptures and, possibly, an architect came from Barbarossa. But if the arrival of the latter had place, it was conditioned by fairly narrow objectives:

development of iconography of the decoration and managing by the craftsmen;

increasing of size and quality of buildings.

The first architects task, of course, was complied. We see the sculptures of quite European level on Andreys buildings.

But did the architect perform the second task?

As we have just shown, the architect from Barbarossa had to work with local personnel, so as a result he failed to achieve any radically new design, significant increase of size or reliability of Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir (see Chap. 5 ).

We have already mentioned in Sec. 6 Golden Gate catastrophe, which immediately followed the completion of construction.

Perhaps the architect of Barbarossa also erected other Andreys buildings, but they can not be called the developments in construction engineering. Rostov Cathedral (side of the omphalos 6,7 m) did not stand for long only 42 years. As for the churches on the Nerl and in Bogolyubovo, they were built even more "safely" from the engineering point of view, than the temples of Yury: in Bogolyubovo church the side of the omphalos is about 4,2 m, and in the Church on the Nerl 3,2 m.

Careful selection of white stone for the Church of Intersession on the Nerl, and its unique foundation was hardly a "style" of the architect, otherwise we would have seen something similar in his other buildings. Much more likely that the "exemplary" Church of Intercession on the Nerl was constructed in accordance with a special order of the Prince, so the authorship in respect of its unique image belongs personally to Bogolyubsky or to someone in his entourage (which is virtually the same thing at the level of our knowledge of XII century). Technically, the same building was completely possible also for architects of the time of Yuri Dolgoruky.

In general, we must note: the architect of Frederick Barbarossa, who was sent to Yuri and received by Andrey, fulfilled his task only in the decoration of churches. The decisive role in Bogolyubskys construction was still played by Suzdal construction personnel, formed in the time of his father.


8. Yuri Dolgoruky and zooanthropomorphous sculpture decoration


It remains to consider the absence of zooanthropomorphous sculptural decoration on Yuris temples and the appearance of such decoration on the temples of Andrey. Doesnt it mean the "undevelopment" of Yuris architecture? Doesnt it mean that the craftsmen of Dolgoruky were incapable to create zooanthropomorphous decoration?

No, it does not mean. If Dolgorukys craftsmen had not have enough professional wizard to create such decor as we see on the temples of Bogolyubsky, we still would have seen at Yuris temples at least timid attempts of decorating by zooanthropomorphous motives even such modest, fragmented and "naive", as on the Cathedral in Speyer (Fig. 19).


Cathedral in Speyer. Zooanthropomorphous bas-relief on the altar pilaster.


Fig. 19. Cathedral in Speyer. Zooanthropomorphous bas-relief on the altar pilaster.


The point is that Yuri in 1152 had no right to decorate his temples by sculptures of zooanthropomorphous type. All he was allowed by the Orthodox Church at that time a "universal" Romanesque ornamental decor "arcature-ornament-porebrik.

To justify this position we must note that the appearance of zooanthropomorphous decoration was beyond a simple wall decoration of temples and collided with a centuries-old "stumbling block" of Church dogmatics the Second Holy Commandment: "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth" (Exodus 20:4).

The history of iconoclasm has more than adequate coverage in the literature, including the theological studies of the author72. Here we only note that after the victory of the adherents of icons, which was "institutionalized" at the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787, a "gap" remained in the resolution of the Council73 sculptures. There is no wonder, since in Byzantium of VIII century the movement was called "iconoclastic", all its pathos was directed against icons, and there was no stable tradition of sculptural decoration of temples in the East. Consequently, general anathemas of "iconoclastic" councils, based on the Second Holy Commandment, were never repealed for sculpture. In any case, at the "universal" level.

That created a dogmatically ambivalent situation for sculpture, and gave (and still gives) the Orthodox Church an opportunity to resolve or prohibit zooanthropomorphous sculptures at its own discretion.

Byzantine church tradition, in contrast to Western European, steadily inclined to the ban of zooanthropomorphous decoration on the temples. After iconoclastic uprisings round sculpture disappeared in Byzantium75. Inside temples (perhaps on facades) there were carved icons, but it is hardly possible to attribute them to zooanthropomorphous decoration the latter concept is much broader. And in any case we can say with certainty that the overwhelming majority of carved Byzantine decorations do not belong to the Romanesque style, which we see on churches of Western Europe and Suzdal land.

History of Russian Orthodox Church knows the times of heyday of temple sculptures, and the times of prohibition of "idols". For example, the Great Moscow Church Council decided in 1666 that only crucifixes may be carved in temples76. In 1722, Synod forbade to have carved and sculptural icons in the churches and ordered not to suspend any smithy to the images. In 1832, there was a complete ban of Synod for temple sculpture77 (incidentally, it was not fulfilled everywhere).

All of the above determined the complexity and uniqueness of the situation with sculptural decoration in Suzdal region in XII century.

Since Soviet times, in art criticism and history of architecture the issues of religious art and architecture were traditionally interpreted in accordance with the genesis of stylistic and artistic taste, economy, politics and many other factors, except one: the direct and immediate impact of the Church in person of local priests, bishops and superior hierarchs.

But in XII century Orthodox Church had already more than a thousand years of existence. Assuming from V century, when it became a closed hierarchical system with a firm dogmatic base and tightly regulated rites, there are about seven hundred years also not a short period. And though in III-IV centuries service could take place in any building (including catacombs), in XII century architectural style of temples already was for Orthodox and Catholic Churches no less important part of ritual and canonical truths78, than, for example, form and color of priests vestments.

Lack of autonomy of Russian Metropolitanate in pre-Mongolian times dictated particularly hard-line approach to subtleties of church architectural style, since any more or less serious innovations were to be approved by the Patriarch of Constantinople. And the latter certainly understood that brick construction technology (at least, opus mixtum), Greek-cross plans and minimal ornamental decoration of churches carried out "the visible link" between Russian Orthodoxy and Byzantium, and the assignment in any of these issues meant another step to Russian Churchs autocephality, very undesirable for ambitions (and also for economic interests) of the Patriarch.

Yuri Dolgoruky gave many years to the exploration of quarries and began to build his churches in the face of very complicated relationship with the Metropolitan of Kiev and the Bishop of Rostov. To characterize these relationships, which had formed in the middle of XII century, more fully, we must remember the hierarchical structure of church organization in Suzdal.

In the time of Yuri, and Andrey, and Vsevolod there was no diocese in the cities of Vladimir and Suzdal, and the church leadership in Suzdal was carried by Rostov bishop79. In Vladimir the diocese appeared only under Yuri Vsevolodovich in 121480.

In the towns, which were not centers of dioceses, there were "Bishops deputies", subordinated to bishops81. Bishops blessing was necessary for the foundation of a new church82, it was required also for the approval of a priest, although the nomination could be done by a churchwarden in this case the Prince83. A churchwarden could initiate the offset of unwanted priests, but, again, it required the consent of a bishop.

Nestor was Rostov bishop in early 1150s. When and by whom he was consecrated as a bishop, we do not know. E.E. Golubinsky in his research on history of Orthodox Church did not focus on this topic84.

M.D. Priselkov considered that Nestors consecration took place in 113785, ie before the election of Metropolitan Clement Smolyatich (1147). The researchers argument was as follows: Nestor could not be consecrated later than 1139, as in that year Vsevolod Olgovich, who had hostility with Dolgoruky, became the Grand Prince of Kiev. And since in 1137 Smolensk diocese was separated from Pereiaslav, the researcher saw probable that the diocese of Rostov also separated (also from Pereiaslav). N.N. Voronin took this point of view and dated the consecration of Nestor by 113786.

But M.D. Priselkovs arguments are not sufficiently substantiated.

First, the hostility of Vsevolod and Yuri was hardly so severe as to preclude the church policy implemented by Metropolitan Michael, the Greek.

Secondly, it is incorrect to supplement existing chronicle details by assumptions that at this time could have happened something like that, which had slipped away from the attention of a chronicler. If the chronicler wrote about the separation of Smolensk diocese, it is unlikely that he forgot about the Rostov. Or there would not have been said anything about dioceses.

Thirdly, the researcher proceeded from a priori assumption that Nestor was an ally of Dolgoruky. But we can not agree with this assumption: Yuri, having become the Grand Prince in 1155, got rid of his principal adversary, Metropolitan Clement87, and immediately already in 1156 initiated the dismissal of Nestor by Constantine, the new Metropolitan88. Greek Constantine, who had just been sent from Byzantium, naturally, would not have made such a hasty decision to remove the Bishop of Rostov without the insistence of the Grand Prince.

We shall put forward our own vision of the date of Nestors consecration: he was consecrated by Clement in late 1140s, and Rostov diocese was established by the Metropolitan at the same time to keep in Suzdal land a representative with Bishop's authority. And it was not accidentally that the location of the diocese was chosen in the distance from the center of the princely estate of Dolgoruky (probably the formal choice of Rostov was conditioned by the tradition since Leontius).

This gives us the answer to the question why the Bishop of Rostov was absent at the Church Council in 1147, which had consecrated Clement as Russian Metropolitan89. M.D. Priselkov thought that Nestor "did not respond to the prince's invitation"90, and N.N. Voronin that Nestor "showed the indifference towards Clement Smolyatich by his absence at the Council91. But, of course, the situation of actual civil war could not have allowed Rostov bishop "to show indifference" and ignore such an important event. In fact, the answer to this question is much more simple and logical: Rostov diocese had not yet existed.

Basing on all that has been said about the consecration of Nestor, we may assume that he was the protege and ally of Metropolitan Clement. One can imagine the complexity of the role that Rostov bishop had to play in the end of 1140s-early 1150s, but, apparently for political reasons, Yury and Clement did not escalate the situation deliberately. In the end, the Metropolitan had the strongest "trump card" excommunication of his enemy from the Church, but their struggle did not reach such a glow.

Nevertheless, in 1152 Dolgoruky turned out to be in a very difficult situation. Having spent enormous efforts and funds to explore white stone quarries and to build the temples, he risked not to receive the blessing either of the Metropolitan of Kiev, nor the Patriarch of Constantinople, which would have meant Rostov bishops refusal to consecrate those temples, and hence the disaster for the princes policy.

In this regard, the complete absence of any attempts to create zooanthropomorphous decor on Yuris temples has an absolutely logical explanation: that was a compromise between the Prince and the Church. Even "non-Byzantine" material white stone could have caused many problems with the church hierarchs.

Therefore, we may say that the final compromise the Metropolitans consent (respectively, the Bishops blessing) for the construction of white stone churches with "universal" Romanesque ornamental decoration in Suzdal in 1152 was an important victory of Dolgoruky. Even despite the fact that the prince had to make concessions in the type of decor.

Now we can recall the fact that is very important for our study: as we have shown in Sec. 6, the craftsmen of sculptural decoration were sent by Barbarossa to Yuri Dolgoruky when he was the Grand Prince of Kiev (1155-1157).

Consequently, Dolgoruky within a short time of his Kiev reign achieved the Church blessing of the introduction of zooanthropomorphous sculptural decoration. Taking into consideration that at that time Yuri dismissed Clement and Nestor, and invited Constantine, Greek Metropolitan of Kiev, this situation is seen as absolutely logical. Perhaps the blessing of zooanthropomorphous sculptures on the temples even was one of the conditions set by the Grand Prince in the negotiations with Byzantine Empire about the arrival of the Metropolitan.

Hence, the appearance of zooanthropomorphous sculptural decoration in Suzdal land is the merit especially of Dolgoruky, not of Bogolyubsky.

Thus, all characteristic features of what we call "Russian Romanesque" appeared in Suzdal (and later in Tver and Moscow Grand Duchies) solely due to Yuri Dolgoruky. And Andrey Bogolyubskys architecture was natural, progressive development of truly innovative architecture of Yuri, as architecture of Vsevolod the Big Nest of Andreys architecture.

And the understanding of this important historical and architectural fact has to contribute to the "historical portrait" of Yuri Dolgoruky, who deserves much more warm words, than those by which the modern stereotypes characterize him.


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


Sergey Zagraevsky



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



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