Dormition Cathedral

Vladimir, Russia

Dormition Cathedral or Assumption Cathedral used to be a mother church of medieval Russia in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is part of the World Heritage Site entitled White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.

The cathedral was commissioned by Andrew the Pious in his capital Vladimir and dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), whom he promoted as the patron saint of his lands. Originally erected in 1158-1160, the 6-pillared 5-domed cathedral was expanded in 1185-1189 to reflect the augmented prestige of Vladimir. Embracing the area of 1178 sq. meters, it remained the largest of Russian churches for the following 300 or 400 years.

Andrew the Pious, Vsevolod the Big Nest, and other rulers of Vladimir-Suzdal were interred in the crypt of this church. Unlike many other churches, the cathedral survived the great devastation and fire of Vladimir in 1239, when the Mongol hordes of Batu Khan took hold of the capital.

The exterior walls of the church are covered with elaborate carvings. The interior was painted in the 12th century and then repainted by the great Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chernyi in 1408. The Dormition Cathedral served as a model for Aristotele Fioravanti when he designed the eponymous cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin in 1475-1479. A lofty belltower, combining genuinely Russian, Gothic, and Neoclassical influences, was erected nearby in 1810.

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Founded: 1158
Category: Religious sites in Russia

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Oleg Naumov (4 years ago)
Cathedral of The Holiest Assumption of Virgin Mary the Mother of God was built in 1158-1189, this huge belfry was added only in 1810. Chapel of Saint George had been built between belfry and cathedral in 1862. Cathedral still preserves frescoes painted by Andrey Rublev (1360-1428) in 1408. This cathedral was burnt by Mongols of Batu Khan (? - 1255) in February 1238. It also had been looted by Tartars of Edigu Khan (1352-1419) in 1408. You can see that in the Andrei Tarkovsky's movie "Andrei Rublev. When city was captured in 1238, Grand Duchess Agatha Vsevolodovna with daughters and Bishop Mitrophan locked themselves in cathedral. Mongols lit cathedral up and all who were inside suffocated. To visit cathedral you need to buy a ticket, price is funny to mention. Bad thing is that visitors are not allowed to take non commercial photo even without flash light.
Amy Austin Garey (4 years ago)
Seeing this beautiful 12th century cathedral is definitely worth a day trip from Moscow. The detailed carvings and engravings on the building's exterior immediately lend a sense of ancientness. It simply feels medieval. The interior is filled floor to ceiling with lavish paintings of Biblical scenes and icons. Artists may draw inspiration from the frescoes lining doorways and arches. The semi-floral patterns are like nothing I have seen before.
Mathew Chandrankunnel (5 years ago)
Most splendid and magnificent Church one can find in Vladimir. The spiritual depth and the cultural glory of Vladimir is enshrined here in this beautiful Church. Rubilov the great artist of Russia had taken time and patience to paint the classical Christian paintings. On the frescoes one can also see the hell where fire, worm and all other forms of alienation and suffering are inflicted upon. Deeply impressive paintings of saints like Saint Seraphim and the great icons of Blessed Mother Mary are exhibited here. Saints and powerful kings of Vladimir region are also interned here in this Cathedral.
Sauryadeep Pal (5 years ago)
An iconic cathedral overlooking the Klasma river. As it is with most cathedrals in this area, the construction is beautiful yet nothing too garish. There's also a nice park nearby for relaxation along with great views of the countryside.
Rajesh _ (5 years ago)
Amazing Place and beautiful architecture ! Ancient church built in Vladimir era..
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