Church of the Intercession on the Nerl

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The church in winter. The Church of the Three Holy Hierarchs, built in 1885, is on the left in the background.

The Church of the Intercession on the Nerl (Russian: Церковь Покрова на Нерли, romanizedTserkov Pokrova na Nerli) is a Russian Orthodox church and a symbol of medieval Russia. Dedicated to the Intercession of the Theotokos, the church is situated at the confluence of the Nerl and the Klyazma in Bogolyubovo, Vladimir Oblast, 13 km (8.1 mi) north-east of the ancient capital of Vladimir.

The church was commissioned by Andrei Bogolyubsky, a 12th-century Russian grand prince.[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 date of construction of the church is unknown. The building is constructed in white stone, and has one dome and four columns in the interior. Its proportions are elongated on purpose to make its outline seem slimmer, although this architectural solution restricts its use in holding services.[3]

For centuries, the memorial church greeted everyone approaching the palace at Bogolyubovo. In spring, the area would flood, and the church appeared as if floating on water. The church itself has not been substantially altered, with only the dome's shape being slightly changed, and the addition of porch-galleries in the 12th century, which were rebuilt in 18th century and then demolished. The walls are still covered with 12th-century stone carvings.[4]

In 1992, the church was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.[5]



  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.
  4. ^ Shvidkovskiĭ, Dmitriĭ Olegovich (2007). Russian Architecture and the West. Yale University Press. pp. 32–34. ISBN 9780300109122.
  5. ^ "White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal". World Heritage List. UNESCO. 1992. Retrieved 11 October 2021.

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Coordinates: 56°11′46.5″N 40°33′41.0″E / 56.196250°N 40.561389°E / 56.196250; 40.561389