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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 6.

Redetermination of the reconstruction of Golden Gate in Vladimir

 

 

Golden Gate is located on the west side of Vladimir fortifications, which construction began in 11581 (Fig. 452). The Church of Deposition of the Robe, situated on Golden Gate, was consecrated in 11643. Accordingly, we may follow N.N. Voronin4 and date Golden Gate (as all Vladimir gates of the times of Andrey Bogolyubsky, which did not come down to us) by this time period.


Fig. 45. Plan of Vladimir of XII-XIII centuries (by N.N. Voronin).
Shown by the digits: I  the city of Monomakh (Pecherny city); II  Vetchanoy city; III  New city; IV  city citadel; 1  the Church of Our Saviour (Holy) Transfiguration; 2  the Church of St. George; 3  Assumption cathedral; 4  Golden Gate; 5  Orininy gate; 6  Cupfer gate; 7  Silver gate; 8  the Volga gate; 9  St. Demetrius cathedral; 10  Ascension monastery; 11  Nativity monastery; 12  Assumption (Knyaginin) monastery; 13  Trade gate; 14  Ivanovsky gate; 15  the gate of the citadel; 16  the Church of Exaltation of the Cross at the Market.

 

Fig. 45. Plan of Vladimir of XII-XIII centuries (by N.N. Voronin).

Shown by the digits: I the city of Monomakh (Pecherny city); II Vetchanoy city; III New city; IV city citadel; 1 the Church of Our Saviour (Holy) Transfiguration; 2 the Church of St. George; 3 Assumption cathedral; 4 Golden Gate; 5 Orininy gate; 6 Cupfer gate; 7 Silver gate; 8 the Volga gate; 9 St. Demetrius cathedral; 10 Ascension monastery; 11 Nativity monastery; 12 Assumption (Knyaginin) monastery; 13 Trade gate; 14 Ivanovsky gate; 15 the gate of the citadel; 16 the Church of Exaltation of the Cross at the Market.

 

Deposition of the Robe Church over Golden Gate was renovated in 1691-1695, and was completely rebuilt in 1795-1810 (the story of these repairs and reconstructions, during which the upper arch of the Gate was rebuilt and decorative corner towers were erected, is shown in details in the writings of N.N. Voronin5 and T.P. Timofeeva6). As a result, only the main volume with the arch remained of ancient Golden Gate.

General view of the Golden Gate is shown at Fig. 46, plan and section along the southern wall of the stairs at Fig. 477, axonometry at Fig. 488.

 

. Golden Gate in Vladimir. General view.

 

Fig. 46. Golden Gate in Vladimir. General view.

 

Golden Gate. The section and profile and plan (by G.F. Korzukhina).

 

Fig. 47. Golden Gate. The section and profile and plan (by G.F. Korzukhina).

 

Golden Gate. Axonometry (by G.F. Korzukhina).

 

Fig. 48. Golden Gate. Axonometry (by G.F. Korzukhina).

 

As N.N. Voronin said absolutely right, Golden Gate "fulfilled at the same time military engineering and pure architectural design tasks high triumphal arch, which led to its princely, aristocratic part of the city"9.

Indeed, as we have noted in Chapter 2, the passage arch has a huge excess height 14 m (taking into account the fact that to date Golden Gate has "sunk in the ground" about 1,5 m)10. A wooden gallery, which significantly reduced the reliability of fortification, was to be arranged under the arch. Note that some part of the building collapsed immediately after the construction: according to Litsevoy Chronicle of XVI century and later Life of Andrey Bogolyubsky, it was a part of an arch11, and according to Legend about the wonders of Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, only a gate leaf fell12.

However, in comparison with surrounding wood and earthworks of Vladimir fortifications (extremely outdated in XIII century, typologically comparable with the ancient fortifications of the Gauls, which Cesar captured in great number13), high white stone Golden Gate was so powerful fortification that in 1238 the Mongols preferred not to storm them, but to break through the wall nearby14.

According to V.N. Tatischevs message, the correctness of which we have confirmed in Chapter 2, Golden Gate was built by craftsmen, sent by Frederick Barbarossa15. Characteristically, in the pre-Mongolian time, when the major trading ways were roads and rivers, the entrance to Vladimir was decorated by Golden Gate not from the side of the Klyazma, but directly from Western Europe. This is difficult not to notice here some symbolic concept, which confirms the imperial ambitions of Grand Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky.

The main volume of Golden Gate consists of two white stone walls with lisenes inside, which turn into the arch. The length of these walls about 17 m, thickness from 1.5 to 3 m, the initial height about 15 m, the total width of the building reaches 15 m. The lisenes are ceased by the cornices with a profile in the form of a quarter of the tore with the shelf. Arch niches are cut in the side walls of the building. In the southern wall there is a staircase that led to the battle sites of gate and city walls (see Fig. 47).

The monument was built of white stone of average quality (more porous and yellow than stone of the temples of Dolgoruky and Assumption Cathedral of Andrey Bogolyubsky). It is treated somewhat coarser than stone of the listed temples, but still at a very high level. The vaults of the niches in the side walls of Golden Gate are made of light porous tuff-like limestone16.

Let us consider the reconstruction of the original form of Golden Gate in conjunction with the city walls and ramparts.

In twentieth century two reconstructions were proposed: the "scientific" (author architect A.V. Stoletov, Fig. 4917) and the "popular", which is in the diorama "Storm of Vladimir by the army of Batu Khan in February 1238" (author artist E.I. Deshalyt, Fig. 5018).

 

Golden Gate. Reconstruction by A.V. Stoletov.

 

Fig. 49. Golden Gate. Reconstruction by A.V. Stoletov.

 

Golden Gate. Reconstruction by E.I. Deshalyt.

 

Fig. 50. Golden Gate. Reconstruction by E.I. Deshalyt.

It should be noted that the author of the second reconstruction approached more seriously the reconstruction of the city walls and side walls of Golden Gate (A.V. Stoletov, in contrast to E.I. Deshalyt, did not depict the city walls, the additional combat platform under the arch of the gate, and the door, which led to the battle site of the city walls, was strongly raised from its actual location). As we shall see later, E.I. Deshalyt reproduced more adequately also the height of the ramparts.

The advantage of the reconstruction by A.V. Stoletov is a more accurate reproduction of the dimensions and proportions of the temple on the gate: a researcher depicted the Church of Deposition of the Robe virtually the same as it was shown on the drawing by von Berk and Gusev of 1779 (Fig. 51 and 52) a relatively large (occupying almost the entire top of the gate), with 4 pillars, one dome, 3 apses, repeating the temples of Yuri Dolgoruky by the shapes.

 

Golden Gate. Drawing by von Berk and Gusev. General view.

 

Fig. 51. Golden Gate. Drawing by von Berk and Gusev. General view.

 

Golden Gate. Drawing by von Berk and Gusev. Plans.

 

Fig. 52. Golden Gate. Drawing by von Berk and Gusev. Plans.

 

The same church, though shown much more conventionally, we see at the drawing of 1764, found by T.P. Timofeeva, which depicts Golden Gate with the Church of Deposition of the Robe19 (Fig. 53). The researcher suggested that this drawing, as the drawing of von Berk and Gusev, reproduces the pre-Mongol church20.

 

Golden Gate at the drawing of 1764.

 

Fig. 53. Golden Gate at the drawing of 1764.

 

But in regard to the height of the ramparts and walls, which adjoined Golden Gate, both reconstructions require substantial refinement.

We see ramparts of height about 11 m at the reconstruction of A.V. Stoletov. Most likely, the researcher proceeded from the approximation of the profile of nearby Kozlov rampart (estimated height about 9 m from the modern day level21, corrected by the fact that Golden Gate "sunk in the ground" for about 1.5 m).

It turns out that the top of the rampart is much higher than the battle site, which as arranged on the floor in the doorway of the arch at the height about 6 m (respectively, in pre-Mongolian time about 7.5 m). In this case it is impossible to explain the assignment of the mortgaged by bricks doorway opposite the exit to the combat area under the arch from the middle of the stairs, as this doorway would have lead into the rampart (N.N. Voronin paid attention to this22).

At the reconstruction of E.I. Deshalyt we see lower ramparts (about 8 m), but in this case the indicated doorway is also lower than the combat sites of the walls.

Our position on this issue originates from the fact that many ramparts, which survived to our time and are traditionally considered as pre-Mongolian, are results of numerous sprinklings of soil in XV-XVII centuries, and they are much higher than in the pre-Mongolian times. Here are some examples:

inside the rampart in Suzdal near ancient Ilyinsky gates (extrapolated modern height more than 6 m) the height of pre-Mongolian rampart was only 1.5 m23;

the initial height of Dmitrov ramparts is 1,5-2 m, and extrapolated current height up to 18 m24;

the initial height of the ramparts of Peneshsky (Smotrokovsky) town of XV century was 2.4 m, and nowadays it is approximately 4 m25;

the ramparts of Pinsk in the final period of their existence had the height of up to 18-20 m, and in the early period about 3 m26;

the author observed the traces of numerous sprinklings in 2003 in the section of the rampart of Przemysl Moskovsky.

Pre-Mongolian ramparts, if they were not subsequently sprinkled, fully disappeared from the face of the earth in many cases, even if there were no more or less intensive construction works in the New time (as in Kideksha, Vyshgorod on the Yakhroma, Gorodnya in Tver region, Kamenskoye of Moscow (Naro-Fominsk) region, and many others)27.

Apparently, the city walls of Vladimir were also significantly sprinkled comparing with the pre-Mongolian times (in particular, we know about the repairing of the city walls in 1536, as well as walls and ramparts in 1670-167428). And the mortgaged doorway of Golden Gate shows us just the level of the combat sites of the city walls in the pre-Mongolian times not in vain there is a large bell of white stone walls in the middle of the stairs of Golden Gate, where two people streams (from the city walls and battle site of the gate) crossed29.

We can determine the height of the ramparts only approximately, because we do not know the exact height of the city walls. If we take the height of walls for 1.5-2 m, the height of the rampart from the base of the gate will not exceed 4.5 m (new archaeological researches of Kozlov rampart near Golden Gate may specify these figures).

Thus, we can make changes in the reconstruction of A.V. Stoletov and E.I. Deshalyt and propose two images of Golden Gate in our reconstruction.

In the first, we took the reconstruction of A.V. Stoletov, shown at Fig. 54, as the basis. In accordance with the foregoing provisions, we changed the height of the ramparts and showed by the dashed lines the city walls and fortifications of additional combat site under the arch of the gate.

 

Golden Gate. Reconstruction by the author (option).

 

Fig. 54. Golden Gate. Reconstruction by the author (option).

 

The second image of Golden Gate in our reconstruction (Fig. 55) was established on the basis of the reconstruction by E.I. Deshalyt. We slightly increased the size of the Gate Church of Deposition of the Robe, making its proportions closer to the reconstruction of A.V. Stoletov, lowered the city walls, drew a wooden wall which closed the battle site under the arch of the gate, depicted the ditches (the reconstruction of E.I. Deshalyt did not include them) and the "dispersed" (in connection with the siege) bridge leading to the gate. Naturally, it is unlikely that the defenders protruded from the walls over the waist, and even more were sitting on the top of walls, they would have been immediately killed by Mongolian archers. It is equally unlikely that logs were thrown at the Mongols from the walls. But we keep those defenders at the image to indicate the scale of the structures.

 

Golden Gate. Reconstruction by the author (option).

 

Fig. 55. Golden Gate. Reconstruction by the author (option).

 

Golden Gate in our reconstruction appears much higher and monumental on the background of lower city walls; the Church of Deposition of the Robe is raised to the height about 15 meters (about the height of the apses of Vladimir Assumption Cathedral; 6-7 m above the city walls). Accordingly, the whole structure has got the appearance, which is entirely consistent with the imperial ambitions of Andrey Bogolyubsky.

 

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

 

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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