Church of the Resurrection in Varnitsy (1743-50 and 1772-75), Southeast View, Tot'ma, Russia


This southeast winter view of the Church of the Resurrection at Varnitsy (near Tot’ma, 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. Located on the Sukhona River, Tot’ma for centuries was part of an important trading network that led from the Russian heartland northward to the White Sea. Located on the northeastern edge of Tot’ma, the village of Varnitsy derives its name from the boiling of salt brine, a major source of the region's wealth. The Church of the Resurrection is an early example of a distinctive Tot’ma style. The lower part of the church dates from 1743-50, while the two-story, five-domed upper church was added in 1772-75. This pattern of construction established the Tot’ma practice of erecting tall church structures in two stages, with separate altars. The lower church has stylistic features from the 17th century, but the upper part displays the features of the new style, including brick facade decoration in the cartouche form, an essential element of the "Tot’ma baroque." The bell tower is missing its roof, and the slow process of restoration is indicated by the aged scaffolding.

Last updated: January 11, 2016