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Savior Transfiguration Cathedral, Chernigov

The Transfiguration Cathedral is a five-domed eight-pillar church in Chernigov, the oldest surviving dated architectural monument of Kievan Rus.

The Transfiguration Cathedral in Chernigov belongs to the unique monuments of the Byzantine-Kiev school of architecture of the first half of the XNUMXth century. He played a significant role in the formation of building codes in the temple construction of pre-Mongol Rus and Ukraine. Remnants of frescoes, carved slabs of choirs, floors, columns testify to its former rich interior decoration. The ashes of Prince Igor Seversky, sung in "The Lay of Igor's Host", are buried in the Transfiguration Cathedral, St. blg. Prince Igor of Chernigov and other princes of that era.

The temple was founded around 1030-34 by the Chernigov prince Mstislav Vladimirovich. After his death in 1036 (according to the Tale of Bygone Years according to the Ipatiev List), the craftsmen were removed from the construction site of the cathedral, which had walls about 4 meters high, to build the church of St. Sophia of Novgorod, and the Chernigov cathedral was completed only in the middle of the century. It became the main temple of the city and the Chernigov-Seversky principality. The Savior Transfiguration Cathedral has survived to this day almost entirely, but partially rebuilt: by the decision of Hetman Kirill Razumovsky, the temple underwent alterations after the devastating fire of 1756.

In terms of the plan, the cathedral is a large (18,25 x 27 m.) Three-aisled church with six pillars and three apses. Excavations have shown that small chapels were added to the eastern corners, which have not survived. The facades of the building are composed of extremely elegant brickwork with a hidden row ... The facades are also decorated with pilasters, flat in the first tier, and profiled in the second.

The interior of the Spassky Cathedral is dominated by a strict and solemn combination of verticals and contours. It is clearly accentuated elongation of the building, which is combined with the internal two-tiered arcades that go into the dome. Along them originally were wooden decks of northern and southern choruses, reinforcing the horizontal division of the interior. Such arcades are typical of Byzantine architecture of that era, but rare in Kievan Rus.

The floor of the temple was covered with carved slate slabs inlaid with colored smalt. The walls and vaults were decorated with ancient frescoes that perished in a fire in 1756. In terms of the splendor of the decoration, the Church of the Savior was not inferior to the Kiev first-throne churches.

Perhaps the builders of the Transfiguration Cathedral repeated to some extent the scheme of the Tithe Church. The report suggested that the masters who created the Chernigov Cathedral and St. Sophia of Kiev were from the same Byzantine artel in the capital.

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