Church of the Intercession on the Nerl

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The church in winter (At the left: Church of the Three Holy Hierarchs, built in 1885)

The Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl River (Russian: Церковь Покрова на Нерли, Tserkov Pokrova na Nerli) is an Orthodox church and a symbol of medieval Russia.

The church is situated at the confluence of Nerl and Klyazma Rivers in Bogolyubovo, Suzdalsky District, Vladimir Oblast, 13 km north-east of the ancient capital of Vladimir.

The church was commissioned by Andrei Bogolyubsky.[1] According to some sources, it was built to commemorate Andrei's victory over the Bulgars and his son Izyaslav, who was slain in the battle.[2] The exact construction date of the church is unknown.

The monument is built in white stone, and has one dome and four columns in the interior. Its proportions are elongated on purpose to make its outline seem slenderer, although this architectural solution restricts its use for holding services.[3]

For centuries, the memorial church greeted everyone approaching the palace at Bogolyubovo. In spring, the area would be flooded, and the church appeared as if floating on water. The church itself has not been touched by later generations; only the dome's shape has been slightly changed, and porch-galleries were added in the 12th-century, rebuilt in 18th-century and then demolished. The walls are still covered with 12th-century stonecarvings.

In 1992, the church was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the site White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.


  1. ^ Dmitriĭ Olegovich Shvidkovskiĭ, Russian Architecture and the West, (Yale University Press, 2007), 36.
  2. ^ Janet Martin, Medieval Russia:980-1584, (Cambridge University Press, 1996), 84.
  3. ^ "Vladimir and Suzdal Museum of History, Art, and Architecture" (in Russian). Храм Покрова на Нерли. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.

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Coordinates: 56°11′46.49″N 40°33′41.04″E / 56.1962472°N 40.5614000°E / 56.1962472; 40.5614000