Cathedral of the Annunciation (1560-84), Interior, View East toward Icon Screen (Late 17th Century), Sol'vychegodsk, Russia


This interior 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) became, in the 16th century, 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 Stroganov practice of supporting the arts. Construction of the cathedral extended from 1560 to the early 1570s, but the church was not formally consecrated until 1584. The interior was painted with frescoes in the summer of 1600. The frescoes were painted over in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly after a major fire in 1819. Restoration since the 1970s has uncovered original frescoes on the west wall. The centerpiece of the cathedral is a five-tiered iconostasis, originally installed by the end of the 1570s, with more than 70 icons, few of which remain. The present form of the iconostasis dates from the 1690s, with its central Royal Gate, donated by the Stroganovs at the beginning of the 17th century.

Last updated: January 11, 2016