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date: 21 August 2019

Kirillo-Belozersky Monasterylocked

  • D. O. Shvidkovsky


One of the largest and most renowned monasteries in Russia, located 150 km north-west of Vologda on Lake Siversk. It was founded in 1397 by Cyril (Rus. Kirill), a monk from the Simonov monastery (1379; largely destr.) in Moscow, and it expanded rapidly under the patronage of the grand-princes of Moscow. By the mid-15th century it had become an important religious centre and one of the focal points of economic activity in northern Russia, with several icon-painting workshops. Between the 15th and 17th centuries it served as a place of confinement for members of the secular and ecclesiastical aristocracy.

The present tripartite composition of the monastery was formed in the 16th and 17th centuries out of the former Uspensky and Ivanovsky monasteries, the New Town and the grounds of the Ostrog fortress between them. The complex’s first stone building, the cathedral of the Dormition (Uspensky; 1497), stands in the centre of the Uspensky monastery. Its plan is derived from the early churches of Moscow, with three apses and four inner piers supporting a single dome. In ...

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