St. Cyril (Kirill)-Belozersk Monastery, Dormition Cathedral (1497), with Church of St. Cyril (1780s) (Left), Church of St. Vladimir (1554) (Right), and Church of St. Epiphanius (1645), East View, Kirillov, Russia


This east view of the Cathedral (sobor) of the Dormition and attached structures at 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 from 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 monastic ensemble. During the first century of its existence, the Dormition Monastery was built of logs. In the summer of 1496 a master builder from Rostov known as Prokhor reconstructed the Cathedral of the Dormition in brick. The church underwent several modifications in the 16th-18th centuries, including the construction of three attached churches: on the north (on the right) the diminutive Church of Saint Vladimir (1554), to its north the Church of Saint Epifanii of Cyprus, built in 1645 as a burial chapel for the princely Teliatevskii family (in the center); and at the southeast corner (on the left), a church dedicated to Saint Kirill, constructed in 1585 over his burial site and rebuilt in 1781-84.

Last updated: January 11, 2016