Trinity Cathedral (1684-97), Southeast View, Solikamsk, Russia


This east view of the Trinity Cathedral in Solikamsk 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. Founded around 1430 on the middle reaches of the Kama River, Solikamsk is among the oldest Russian settlements in the Ural Mountains. Its wealth was based on salt (hence the first part of its name) and other minerals. The Trinity Cathedral, built of brick in 1684-97 as the town's main church, is an extraordinary example of the highly-ornamented, structurally-intricate designs of late 17th-century Russian architecture. The structure's sculpted form is enhanced by the rich patterned decoration of its whitewashed facades, as well as by the five cupolas on narrow drums that rest on a brick platform and project above the roof. Further decorative emphasis is provided by porches and covered steps that lead upward to the portals on the north, west, and south facades (not preserved on the south). On the east side, the main apse is flanked on the south and north by two additional chapels, similarly ornamented and dedicated to St. Nicholas and St. John the Baptist, respectively. The cathedral was closed in 1929 and turned into a local history museum, a function that it serves to the present day.

Last updated: January 11, 2016