Saint Nicholas Cathedral

Veliky Novgorod, Russia

Saint Nicholas Cathedral (Nikolo-Dvorishchensky Cathedral), founded by Mstislav the Great in 1113 and consecrated in 1136, is the oldest surviving building in the central part of Veliky Novgorod after the Saint Sophia Cathedral. It is on the World Heritage list as a part of object 604 Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings.

The cathedral is located outside of the kremlin walls, on the right bank of the Volkhov River at the Yaroslav's Court. It was founded by Mstislav, the prince of Novgorod, in 1113, however, the construction took over twenty years, and the cathedral was consecrated in 1136, when Novgorod was already a republic. Presumably, the cathedral was supposed to serve the residence of the prince located at the Yaroslav's Court and was connected to the residence. Mstislav was the Prince of Novgorod between 1097 and 1117, and during his tenure he founded a big number of churches. The completion date for the cathedral is not known precisely, however the cathedral was completed and consecrated by 1136. Chronicles mention that in this year Prince Sviatoslav Olgovich was betrothed in the cathedral.

Since the 13th century, the cathedral belonged to the city of Novgorod rather than to the prince, andveche was held near the cathedral. It was mentioned as cathedral in the 17th century. The cathedral was renovated several times in the 18th and the 19th centuries, as well as in 1913. Since 1933 it was open both as a church and as a museum. During the German occupation of Novgorod in World War II, it served as a barrack and was badly damaged. In 1945 the cathedral was returned to Russian Orthodox Church, however, since 1962 it was functioning only as a museum. In 1994–1999 the cathedral was extensively restored.

The cathedral is roughly squared in cross-section and has one dome. The roof is supported by four pillars. It is known that in the middle of the 17th century the cathedral had five domes. Apparently, the roof was considerably altered during one of the restorations in the end of the 17th century. Additional volumes were built at the northern (in 1822) and the western (1809) sides of the cathedral. Fragments of original frescoes from the 12th century survived. The best preserved fragment depicts Job.



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Founded: 1113-1136
Category: Religious sites in Russia


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Antonius (10 months ago)
Nikolo-Dvorishchensky Cathedral (1113-1136). A strange combination of architectural styles. The cathedral looks unusual, inactive, now it houses a small museum. Inside, frescoes of the 12th century and a carved baroque iconostasis are partially preserved.
Valentin Orlov (3 years ago)
A strange-looking combination of architectural styles from the early 12th century to the mid-19th century. Both times we found ourselves near the cathedral in the evening, when it was already closed, so we could not get inside. But wandered around...
Slava Svetlov (3 years ago)
There is a museum in the cathedral and a specially equipped hall in which a screening (2 options) of circular educational films about the history of the courtyard and the temple itself is organized. It is advisable to visit the temple as a museum for people interested in the history of religion, or history in general, or with a person (guide) who can correctly tell everything, otherwise it may be uninteresting, despite the fact that the history of the temple itself (and the murals preserved in it) and the place where he is located is very interesting. And yes, there are difficulties with payment by bank cards, it is better to have cash with you for every occasion.
heaven lee (4 years ago)
The origin of Russian Democracy. According to explanation, Novgorod people gathered alongside of the Nicholas Cathedral wall and discussed things. People who have the highest voice won the discuss. They discussed policy and had had the right to elect Prince, Politicians, etc. They had a right to impeach, and Polticians had to 'serve' for the people. Interesting stories comparing with current Russian Politic. Russians are really proud of this history and they believe 'Coming together', 'Share and discuss idea', and even Communisitic idea came from this history. Interesting.
Валерий Вдовин (5 years ago)
Большой и красивый собор. Местные работники культуры постарались и сделали 15-минутный ролик-панораму про историю Новгорода, его смотрят в комнате типа планетария в подвальном этаже собора. Очень рекомендую!
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