St. Cyril (Kirill)-Belozersk Monastery, Church of the Transfiguration over the Water Gate (1595), Interior, View East with Icon Screen, Kirillov, Russia


This interior view of the Church of the Transfiguration over the Water Gate at 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 on the north shore of Lake Siverskoe by Kirill (1337-1427), a Muscovite monk canonized in 1547. The monastery soon acquired significance as a major religious center with connections to the Muscovite court and as a fortress on Muscovy's expanding northern flank. Located over the Water Gate in the monastery’s south wall, the Church of the Transfiguration over the Water Gate was built of brick and completed in 1595. Its interior has only two large piers that support the upper vaulting. This view toward the east shows the space beneath the main cupola and drum, as well as the small iconostasis with four tiers. The largest is the Local (first) Row, with the Royal Gate (leading to the main altar) in the center. Above is the Festival Row, a tier of small square icons devoted to church holy days. The Deesis (third) Row, centers on Christ Enthroned, flanked by Mary and John the Baptist. The Prophets (fourth) Row has an icon of the Virgin of the Sign in the center.

Last updated: July 28, 2017