St. Cyril (Kirill)-Belozersk Monastery, Southwest Panorama, with Siverskoe Lake, Kirillov, Russia


This southwest view across Lake Siverskoe of the Saint Kirill Belozersk Monastery (Vologda 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. Formally dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin, the monastery was founded in 1397 by Kirill (1337-1427), a monk of noble birth who had served at the Simonov Monastery in Moscow. The monastery's importance as a religious center and as a fortress on Muscovy's northern flank was recognized by the canonization of Kirill in 1547 and the dedication to him of the entire monastic ensemble, consisting of two adjacent monasteries: the Dormition and John the Baptist. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the monastery was periodically involved in Muscovite politics. Its walls, some two kilometers in length, were erected over a 30-year period, from 1654 to the 1680s. Monuments shown here include (from the left): the Cathedral of the Dormition (with the green dome); the refectory Church of the Presentation; the main bell tower; and the Church of the Transfiguration over the Water Gate (on the right). In the background is the massive Kuznechnaia, or Smithy, Tower, which anchors the monastery’s east wall. In the foreground is the south wall, with rectangular towers.

Last updated: January 11, 2016