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February 9, 2022, 07:01

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Press Service of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the City of Moscow

Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage experts studied the 15th-century architectural monument and described its historical appearance, as well as elements of architectural and cultural value. On the basis of these studies, the department drew up and approved a special document – the subject of protection. Now any restoration work can be carried out only in accordance with it and according to the project agreed by the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage.

V Department of Cultural Heritageapproved the object of protection of the Spassky Cathedral, which is part of the ensemble of the Andronikov Monastery. This is a document that includes all the characteristics of an architectural monument and its valuable elements. The white-stone cathedral is the compositional and semantic center of the entire architectural ensemble of the monastery, which has the status of an object of cultural heritage of federal significance.

The Cathedral of the Savior is a cross-domed four-pillar church with one dome. It is located at the address: Andronievskaya Square, Building 10, Building 5. On the eastern side, a three-part apse (ledge) adjoins the temple, along the central axes of the other three facades there are high white stone porches.

“The Spassky Cathedral of the Andronikov Monastery is one of the oldest churches in the capital. Scientists suggest that it was built in the first quarter of the 15th century. In addition, it is a very valuable ancient example of Russian church stone architecture. The researchers note that the temples of later periods largely repeat its architectural composition. After the research, the specialists managed to compile the most complete list of elements and characteristics of the cathedral that are responsible for its original appearance. All of them were included in the subject of protection, ”said the head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage

Alexey Emelyanov.

The Spassky Cathedral was built of dense limestone, hewn in the form of small smooth rectangular blocks. Historians believe that the use of this material significantly increased the cost of work. The stone was difficult to mine, transport and process. It was brought from the quarries located on the territory of the modern Ramensky district.

The facade of the cathedral is divided by pilasters. The upper part of the building is decorated with numerous oblong arches (zakomaras) and kokoshniks (an architectural element resembling a female headdress in shape).

The building stands on a high base-basement with four pillars. The interior space is divided into three elongated parts. The girth arches of the temple rest on pillars and hold the light drum of the dome. The arches are arranged in steps, and the vaults of the temple diverge crosswise. Such compositions appeared in Russian architecture in pre-Mongolian times, but then were forgotten for a long time.

The altar is located in the eastern part of the temple. Researchers have no doubt that Andrei Rublev personally participated in its painting. But only small fragments on the window jambs remained of his work. According to one version, the murals were lost after the reconstruction of the temple at the end of the 18th century, according to another, the unique frescoes were destroyed by a fire in 1812.

The subject of protection included the location and town-planning characteristics of the cathedral, its composition, as well as the dome, the cross, the roof covering, the drainage system with white stone water cannons. The document included the decoration and appearance of the facades of the 15th century (taking into account the restoration work that was carried out in 1959–1963), the material for finishing the building, the layout of the interiors, the main walls, vaults, pillars and arches made of white stone and brick, external stairs and their location. Specialists especially emphasized the importance of the architectural and artistic design of the interiors of the cathedral. They described arches, capitals of pilasters, ornamental fresco painting on the slopes of windows, white stone floors, salt (elevation of the floor in front of the altar and iconostasis), window frames and doors, original fresco painting in the subject of protection.

The Spassky Cathedral of the Andronikov Monastery is one of the oldest churches preserved in Moscow, and one of the first examples of Russian church stone architecture. Older than him are only two monuments in the Kremlin – the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in the hallway and the basement of the Cathedral of the Annunciation.

The Spassky Cathedral is distinguished by the fact that it is open to visitors and regular services are conducted in it.

It is noteworthy that Orthodox churches of later periods largely repeat its appearance and composition. In fact, the creators of this structure laid down the main trends in the development of Russian architecture for several centuries to come.

Now, any restoration work for this architectural monument can only be carried out in accordance with the approved subject of protection and according to the project agreed by the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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