Saint George's Cathedral, Yuryev Monastery

Saint George's Cathedral

Basic information
Location Veliky Novgorod
Geographic coordinates 58°29′15″N 31°17′07″E / 58.4875, 31.28528
Region Europe
State Russia
Province Novgorod Oblast
District Novgorod Rayon
Year consecrated 1130

Saint George's Cathedral of the Yuryev Monastery (Russian: Георгиевский собор Юрьева монастыря is the main church of the Yuryev Monastery in Veliky Novgorod. Built in 1119, belongs to the monuments of ancient Russian architecture of the pre-Mongol period .


" St. George " - an icon of the church, one of the oldest in Russia

The construction of the cathedral, which became the main church of Yuryev Monastery, was started in 1119. The initiator of the construction was Grand Prince of Kiev Mstislav I Vladimirovich. Since at this time he was in Kiev , then the construction of the cathedral was entrusted to the hegumen of Yuryev Monastery Kiriaku and the son of Mstislav, the Novgorod prince Vsevolod. From the Novgorod chronicle the name of the builder of the cathedral is known - the master Peter, who supposedly also built the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Novgorod and the Annunciation Church, Gorodishche. This is the first of the well-known names of Old Russian craftsmen-builders.

The construction of the cathedral lasted 11 years, before the end of its walls were covered with frescoes, destroyed in the XIX century. On July 12, 1130, it was consecrated in the name of Saint George the Victorious by Bishop Ioann Papin, under the reign of the Hegumen Isaiah (Kiriak, who started the construction, died two years before the consecration of the church).

The cathedral became the tomb of the abbots of the monastery, a number of Russian princes and Novgorod posadniks . In 1198 [Izyaslav Yaroslavich of Luki (c1178-1198)|Izyaslav]] and Rostislav, the sons of the Prince of Novgorod Yaroslav Vladimirovich were buried in the cathedral; in 1203 - the posadnik of Novgorod [[Miroshka Nesdinich (c1150-1204); in 1233 - Prince Fyodor Yaroslavich, elder brother of Aleksandr Nevsky, and in 1224 and his mother Feodosiya Mstislavna (in the monastic life Euphrosiniya); in 1453 - Dmitri Shemyaka.

In the middle of the 16th century, from the cathedral to Moscow, at the direction of Ivan the Terrible, the icon of the Ustyug Annunciation was moved .

In 1807, during the repair of St. George's Cathedral, on the orders of Bishop Starorussky and Vicar of Novgorod Yevgeni, excavations were carried out, which made it possible to discover a number of stone sarcophagi. In the 1830s, under Archimandrite Photius , the cathedral was restored, during which the frescoes of the 12th century: they were knocked down from the walls, used for padding when planning the territory of the monastery, partially thrown out. The original fresco painting was preserved only in the upper part of the staircase (in the north-western dome of the cathedral), where there was a small church intended for private monastic worship. Here in the lower register of frescoes between the windows are the images of the Savior and Our Lady of the Hodegetria , George, Rev. Savva the Sanctified (?) And the saints. Above also in the circle are the Reverend Fathers. On the eastern side between them stands Our Lady of Oranta . At the very top are medallions with four evangelists, lost from time was only the image of Christ the Almighty [1]. The cathedral was completely painted again. During this same period, a new semiautrous iconostasis was installed in it , among which the oldest icons of the cathedral were installed, on which were decorated richly decorated precious vestments . In 1898 new frescoes were shot down during the next repair works. To create a new fresco cycle, the icon painter MN Safonov was invited . This painting has reached our days. In 1902, the restored cathedral was consecrated by the archbishop of Novgorod and Starorussky Guriy .

In 1920 Yuryev monastery was closed, worship services in the St. George's Cathedral were discontinued. In the 1930s. During the restoration, the following were destroyed: the sacristan , the porch (1706), the chapel and the shrine of St. Theoktist, the archbishop of Novgorod , the gallery, the eighteenth-century iconostasis with ancient icons (disappeared without a trace), the floors covered with cast-iron tiles and ancient burials under them. The cathedral and the monastery were returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1991 , during the summer period divine services are held in St. George's Cathedral.

In 2013 - 2014 archaeological excavations under the guidance of V. V. Sedov, Jr. in the greater part of the cathedral (except for the northern chapel), restored the level of the floor to the XII century, as well as the remains of the frescos shot down by Photius, which were used to raise the floor [2] .

In 2015, in the temple archaeologists found a tomb with the relics of St. Archbishop Feoktist (XIV century).

In 2016 Moscow archaeologists found enigmatic stone sarcophagi of the 12th century near the walls of St. George's Cathedral in the central part of the Orthodox monastery. One sarcophagus is completely empty, in the other there are the remains of six tall and old men. Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Valentinovich Sedov suggested that people who occupied one of the positions in the monastery, for example, kelareys or economists, could be buried in it sequentially. Or it was a family burial vault of Novgorod boyars, who at that time also often became monks. In any case, these were not ordinary graves. This is evidenced by the burial place, and the fact that similar sarcophagi in the pre-Mongol period in Russia were very expensive [3] .

Row of saints (fresco of the 12th century)

Cathedral fresco.JPG

The wall painting of the cathedral with a fragment of an ancient fresco

Architectural features[]

St. George's Cathedral at the beginning of the 20th century St. George's Cathedral measures: length 26.8 meters, width 18.3 meters, height 32 meters and is the largest of the temples of the St. George's Monastery (in Novgorod the cathedral in size is inferior only to Novgorod's Sofia ). In contrast to the interior decoration, the original external appearance of the cathedral was almost completely preserved (during the restoration of 1931-1935 all its numerous annexes, built at different times) were removed.

St. George's Cathedral has a mixed masonry of walls (combines stone blocks and bricks ). The original roof was pozakomarnoy and covered with lead sheets, later it was replaced by a four-slope, preserved to the present day. The cathedral is crowned with three asymmetrically located chapters : the main dome is crowned with the sredo-cross , the second dome (inside it there was a special aisle for the secluded monastic service) is placed above the square staircase attached to the north-west corner of the cathedral on the side of the narthex , and the third small chapter balances the second one.

The cathedral is cross-domed , six-pillared , three- nave , has three altar apses . In the cathedral choruses are arranged for the presence at the divine service of the prince and his family. On the choir there were two chapels: the Annunciation and the saints Boris and Gleb .

See also[]

The Cathedral of Antoniev Monastery - the closest in architecture monument of the early 12th century


↑ VD Sarabyanov, ES Simirnova. The history of Old Russian painting. M., 2007, p. 99-100 ↑ In St. George's Monastery told about the excavations in St. George's Cathedral ↑ Moscow archaeologists found in the Novgorod monastery mysterious sarcophagi XII century , INTERFAX (August 27, 2016). Checked on August 28, 2016.


Kolpakova G.S. The Art of Ancient Russia: The Dom Mongol Period. - M .: ABC, 2007. - 600 p. - ( A new history of art ). - ISBN 978-5-352-02088-3 . Rappoport PA Architecture of Ancient Russia . - L .: Science, 1986. Sedov Vl. V., Etingof OE Some data on the architecture and frescoes of St George's Cathedral of the St. George's Monastery // Architectural Heritage: Journal. - M.-SPb .: Kolo, 2016. - No. 65 . - P. 16-29 . - ISSN 0320-0841 .