Cathedral of the Annunciation (1560-84), East View, Sol'vychegodsk, Russia


This east view of the Cathedral of the Annunciation at Sol'vychegodsk (Arkhangel'sk Oblast) 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. Located near the confluence of the Vychegda and Northern Dvina rivers, Sol’vychegodsk (Salt of the Vychegda) is in an area of many salt springs. In the 16th century, Sol’vychegodsk became the center of vast trading operations owned by the Stroganovs, whose wealth was based on salt. The patriarch of the dynasty, Anika (Ioannikii) Stroganov (1497-1570), began the Stroganovs’ practice of supporting the arts, including the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the last of the great masonry churches of the Russian north during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. Work on the cathedral began in 1560 and apparently concluded in the early 1570s, although the cathedral was not formally consecrated until 1584. The church is only two bays in length, but it has the five cupolas typical of major Russian churches. Additional chapels were attached at the north (on the right) and south corners. The exterior originally culminated in curved gables (zakomary), whose outlines are still visible beneath a four-sloped roof dating from the 18th century.

Last updated: January 11, 2016