Alexandrov Kremlin

Aleksandrov, Russia

The tsar’s residence in the Alexandrovskaya village (also known as the Alexandrovsky Kremlin) is an old Russian fortress which served as the actual capital of the oprichnina (the period of Russian history between 1565 and 1572 during which Tsar Ivan the Terrible instituted a domestic policy of secret police, massrepressions, public executions, and confiscation of land from Russian aristocrats) in the Moscow state from 1564 until 1581. Alexandrovskaya village dates back to the middle of the 14th century. Grand Duke Vasily III had a country palace built there and used to bring his family and the entire court to it. The palace did not survive.

The Pokrovsky cathedral was sanctified in 1513 and later it was blessed anew as the Trinity Cathedral. Its appearance has changed somewhat since the 16th century; some of the architectural details such as windows, e.g., belong to a later period. Originally, red brick and white stone were used in the outer decoration of the cathedral but brick parts were later painted over. Some of the interior fresco paintings date back to the 14th century as do the white stone carvings in the interior portals.

Ivan the Terrible moved to the Alexandrovskaya fortress in 1565. The residence was immediately fortified with a bulwark, wooden walls, and a moat. The village became the actual capital of the country. The oprichnina was founded there and the march on the Novgorod Republic started from the village.

As Novgorod was looted Ivan brought the famous gates of its St. Sophia Cathedral (1336) to the village and had them installed at the southern entrance of the Assumption (Trinity) cathedral. The gates combine religious and fantastic subjects; there is, for instance, the image of a centaur. The gates were made with the use of the old technique in which the door was first carved and then rubbed with a mixture of liquid gold and mercury.

The western entrance was embellished with the old (1344-1358) doors that Ivan had removed from the Transfiguration (Spaso-Preobrazhensky) church in Tver. An etched picture of the Holy Trinity is still preserved on one of the doors.

The Assumption nunnery was opened on its territory in the second half of the 17th century. During Soviet times the fortress and the former nunnery were used as a museum. At present, the territory of the Kremlin is shared by a museum and the revived nunnery.

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Founded: 1565
Category: Castles and fortifications in Russia

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Лилия Мамонова (2 years ago)
Рекомендую внимательно читать информацию на сайте музея. Не забудьте,что он находится на территории действующего монастыря. Вход на территорию и в Храм бесплатный. Билет с экскурсоводом по музею стоит около 500руб. Именно его я рекомендую взять. Не опаздывайте к 11.00 или 14.00 в выходные.В кассе оплата картой или наличными, в музее сувениры только за наличные.
Big Boss (2 years ago)
Alexandrovskaya village (Александровская слобода) is known from the XV century. From 1505 she served as the country residence of Grand Duke Vasily III, from 1564 to 1581 - the residence of Tsar Ivan the Terrible (actually the capital of the state, the center of Oprichnina). The Trinity Cathedral (1513), the Intercession Church (16th century, was part of the palace of Ivan the Terrible) survived.
Juan Guillermo Tolosa (3 years ago)
Beautiful and interesting place!
Alessia Rainis (4 years ago)
The guide was excellent!
Alexey Mikhonin (5 years ago)
The quality management in Russia started there
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