Savior-Prilutskii Monastery, Cathedral of the Savior (1537-42), East View, with Bell Tower and Refectory Church of the Presentation (1545-49), Vologda, Russia


This northeast view of the Cathedral (sobor) of the Most Merciful Savior (Vsemilostivyi Spas) at the Savior-Prilutskii Monastery on the outskirts of Vologda was taken in 1995 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Before the founding of Saint Petersburg in 1703, Russia depended on a northern route through the White Sea for trade with western Europe. One of the main points on this route was Vologda, founded in the 12th century. Vologda’s significance led, in 1371, to the beginnings of the Savior-Prilutskii Monastery, an early bulwark of Moscow’s authority in the Russian north. After its destruction by fire, the cathedral, dedicated to the Most Merciful Savior, was rebuilt in brick in 1537-42. The walls culminate in two rows of curved gables (zakomary) and five cupolas. The structure is raised on a socle, or base (podklet), which contains a heated winter sanctuary named after the monastery’s founder, Saint Dmitrii Prilutskii. The apse is in three parts. On the left is the refectory Church of the Presentation of the Virgin (1540s). Attached to the northeast corner (on the right) is the sacristy. The bell tower, rebuilt in 1729-30 on a 17th-century base, contains an altar dedicated to Saint Aleksii.

Last updated: January 11, 2016