Trinity-Gleden Monastery, Church of the Trinity (1659-90s), Northwest View, Velikii Ustiug, Russia


This northwest view of the Church (sobor) of the Trinity of the Trinity-Gleden Monastery (at Morozovitsa, near Velikii Ustiug, Vologda 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. Settled by Russians as early as the 12th century, Velikii Ustiug rapidly became a center of trade and missionary activity. Among the beneficiaries of merchant donations was the Trinity-Gleden Monastery, located south of the town, on the opposite side of the Sukhona River at Gleden, site of the area’s earliest settlement. The monastery’s main church, dedicated to the Trinity, was begun in 1659, but was completed only in 1690, due to financial difficulties. The church is elevated on a high base (podklet) that supports an enclosed gallery (visible here) along the north, west, and south facades. The north and south galleries have symmetrical chapels at their east ends. The upper walls are decorated with curved gables (zakomary), and the church is crowned with five domes. On the west side, the church has a large bell tower, here obscured under repair scaffolding. The interior, supported by two massive piers, contains one of the most remarkable Russian iconostases, created in 1776-84.

Last updated: January 11, 2016