Church of the Ascension (St. Theodosius) (1903-10), Southwest View, Perm', Russia


This southwest view of the Perm' Church of the Ascension in the name of St. Feodosii was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Established in the 1720s as a factory settlement on the middle reaches of the Kama River, Perm’ (so named in 1781) is one of Russia's largest cities. Before the 1917 revolution, the city's merchant community gave substantial donations for church construction. The donor for this church was Aleksandr P. Babalov, who in 1903 provided the land on which the church is built. Work began in May 1903 to a plan by Aleksandr I. Ozhegov (designer of the main mosque in Perm'). In 1904, an altar on the lower, ground level was dedicated to St. Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833), a prominent Russian monastic canonized in 1903 with the support of Nicholas II. In 1910, the upper or main altar was dedicated. The red brick structure includes a large refectory but no visible apse, thus giving the impression of a basilica design. The exterior, with a bell tower on the west end, displays a profuse array of cupolas, ornamental gables, and arches in imitation of 17th-century Muscovite architecture. Converted to a bakery in 1932, the church was returned to the parish in 1991.

Last updated: January 11, 2016