Church of St. Nicholas (1705), South Facade, Detail, Nyrob, Russia


This photograph of the south façade of the Church of St. Nicholas in Nyrob (northern part of Perm' Territory) was taken in 2000 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Situated near the Kolva River some 160 kilometers north of Solikamsk, Nyrob is first mentioned in historical sources in 1579. Because of its remote location, the settlement was chosen by Tsar Boris Godunov in 1601 as the place of exile for the boyar Mikhail Nikitich Romanov, nephew of Anastasia, the beloved first wife of Ivan the Terrible. In 1602, the boyar died from harsh treatment in Nyrob. With the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, following the "Time of Troubles," the grave of Mikhail Nikitich Romanov became a venerated site with two log churches dedicated to the Epiphany and to St. Nicholas. The church of St. Nicholas was rebuilt in brick in 1704 and consecrated in 1705. It is a remarkable example of florid ornamentation in church design, with large window surrounds, attached columns, and an elaborate cornice supporting decorative arches. These flourishes are almost entirely fashioned from molded brick elements. At the time this photograph was taken, the church was being restored for use as a place of worship.

Last updated: January 11, 2016