Out of the Centre

Zvenigorod Gorodok

Zvenigorod Gorodok

In 1389 Grand Prince Dmitry Donskoy's son Yury became the third prince of Zvenigorod. Unlike the previous princes of Zvenigorod, Yury Dmitrievich decided to set up residence in Zvenigorod and established it on a hill overlooking the River Moskva, complete with earthen mound defences. This type of fortified settlement in Russian is called a 'gorodok' and this area has become known as the Zvenigorod Gorodok.

Dormition Cathedral

Inside the gorodok is the Dormition Cathedral which was built on the orders of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod approximately between 1396 and 1399 making it one of the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. The white-stone building takes the form of a cross-in-square with four pillars, a design typical for the era. It is topped with a single black dome. Outside it apses and door are decorated with intricate engravings and inside frescos have been preserved, including fragments painted by famous icon-painter Andrey Rublev.

The cathedral’s iconostasis once also contained three icons by Andrey Rublev, depicting Christ the Saviour, Apostle Paul and Archangel Michael. Now these icons are on display at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery.

Epiphany Church

The second religious building located in the gorodok is the new and rather simple Epiphany Church. At the end of the 19th century it was decided to build a wooden church dedicated to the Epiphany of Christ. The reasoning behind the decision was to better protect the Dormition Cathedral by limiting the amount of visitors there, fearing that all the worshipers there were damaging the historically significant frescoes inside. The wooden church stood until the 1930s when it was burned down. The modern church was constructed between 2001 and 2003.

Location Zvenigorod Gorodok