Church of St. John Chrysostome (1665), Southwest View, Saunino, Russia


This southwest view of the log Church of Saint John Chrysostom (near Kargopol', Arkhangel'sk Oblast) was taken in 1998 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. The Church of Saint John Chrysostom, whose basic structure dates from 1665, was built in a cemetery at the edge of the village of Saunino. Its noble form represents the best traditions of north Russian log architecture. The main part of the church is a cube of notched pine logs supporting an octagon that culminates in a "tent" tower (shatër) clad in five plank tiers and a cupola covered in aspen shingles. A large refectory (trapeznaia), added onto the west side of the church after construction of the main structure, has its own altar, marked on the south side by a smaller cupola (visible here). The elevated entrance to the church originally would have been on the west side, but a rebuilding of the refectory in the late 19th century included a new entrance at the south corner. Standing separately, to the south of the church, is an unusual hexagonal bell tower, also with a "tent" roof. The church interior has a partially preserved iconostasis and a painted ceiling (nebo) in the traditional style of northern religious art.

Last updated: January 11, 2016