Savior-Prilutskii Monastery, Cathedral of the Savior (1537-42), West View, with Bell Tower, Vologda, Russia


This southwest winter view of the Church (sobor) of the Most Merciful Savior at the Savior-Prilutskii Monastery on the outskirts of Vologda was taken in 1997 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 to the establishment in 1371 of the Savior-Prilutskii Monastery, an early bulwark of Moscow’s authority in the Russian north. After its destruction by fire, the main church, dedicated to the Most Merciful Savior (Vsemilostivyi Spas), was rebuilt in brick in 1537-42. The walls culminate in two rows of curved gables (zakomary) and five cupolas. The structure is raised above a base (podklet), which contains a heated winter sanctuary named after the monastery’s founder, Saint Dmitrii Prilutskii. The main sanctuary is reached through an ornamented porch (in the center). An arcaded gallery (on the right) leads to the refectory Church of the Presentation of the Virgin. The bell tower, rebuilt in 1729-30 on a 17th-century base, contains an altar dedicated to Saint Aleksii.

Last updated: January 11, 2016