Cathedral of the Nativity, Suzdal

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Interior view of the Cathedral of the Nativity

The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Suzdal Russia is a World Heritage Site. It is one of the eight White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal. One of the most complex monuments of Russian medieval architecture. It was originally constructed during the reign of Vladimir II Monomakh during the late 11th century.

The Cathedral of the Nativity is surrounded by a ring of earthen walls in an oxbow of Kamenka River. It is notable for being the first city cathedral not built for the exclusive use of the knyaz or his relatives. The cathedral contains the remains of a son of Yuri Dolgoruki, knyazes of the Shuisky family and others.


The cathedral was originally built during the reign of Vladimir II Monomakh in 1102.[1] In 1222, on the orders of Yuri II of Vladimir the dilapidated building was taken down and replaced by a new one built of white stone. Thus it remained until 1528, when the white stone walls above the arcade are replaced by brick. In the 17th century, the previously three-domed cathedral was given five domes and the interior was partially repainted. Thus the cathedral survives to this day with numerous changes throughout its history, both in the exterior, and the interior, where the wall frescoes are of 13th-, 15th- and 17th-century origin. The cathedral has also endured fire several times.


  1. ^ Brumfield, William Craft (1997). Landmarks of Russian Architect: A Photographic Survey. Routledge. p. 60. ISBN 9056995367. 

Further reading[edit]

  • William Craft Brumfield. A History of Russian Architecture, Cambridge University Press (1993), ISBN 978-0-521-40333-7 (Chapter Three: "Vladimir and Suzdal Before the Mongol Invasion")

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°25′N 40°26′E / 56.417°N 40.433°E / 56.417; 40.433