ARCHITECTURE

Close

The cathedral was ceremonially consecrated in August, 1489. it was built by Russian makers in traditions of Pskov and Moscow architecture on ancient podklet (ground floor) of the more ancient church. The today cathedral's outlook with roofed galleries and four corner annexes, its pyramidal silhouette, topped with nine gilt domes, formed in the 60-s of the XVIth century.

Entrances to the cathedral from the northern and western galleries are framed in white-stone carved portals of the XVIth century Italian work. The folding doors are covered with copper plates with Bible stories, executed I n the technique of fire gilding. The floor in the cathedral is exceptional as it consists of silicon plates of various size and colour.

The podklet of the cathedral is a monument of architecture of the late XIVth century. it is a quadrangular room under the cathedral's central part, built of large white-stone blocks. In the center of the room there is a massive pillar with low archs, connecting it with the walls. An apse is adjacent to the room's eastern part. The podklet must have been the place for preservation of Great princes' treasury. Since 1989, it houses an archeological exhibition, the exhibits of which are connected with the history of settling of the Borovitsky (Grove) Hill, with unique treasure-troves founded in the XIXth-XXth centuries inside the Kremlin territory.

The Annunciation CathedralPlan and drawing of the Northern facade of the Annunciation Cathedral and Armoury Chamber (project of D. Ukhtomskiy)The Northern facade of the Annunciation cathedralWestern wall above the loft

 

Architectural decor of the Annunciation Cathedral's apsesThe South porch (of Ivan the Terrible) of the Annunciation CathedralWindow of the South porch of the Annunciation Cathedral

The question of the galleries' construction round the Annunciation Cathedral is still open. They were probably erected in the early XVIth century by the Italian makers, who had built the palace of the Grand Prince and portals for the cathedral's northern and western entrances. Large galleries' archways were initially opened, and galleries surrounded the cathedral from the four sides. The western part of the galleries was disassembled in the XIXth century.

The cathedral's four aisles, erected in the XVIth century over the arched galleries, were single-cupola side chapels with thin walls made of one brick tier. Floors inside were paved with a patterned ceramic tiles, replaced in the XIXth century by carved tiles of white stone with black mastic ornament. The interior was decorated with iconostasises, one of which was placed in the southern gallery. The aisles were sanctified in memory of the cathedral of Archangel Michael and archangel Gabriel at a later date (north-eastern aisle), in memory of the Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God (northwestern aisle), in memory of the Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (south-western aisle), in memory of George and Alexander Nevsky at a later date (south-eastern aisle).

Central dome of the Annuciation CathedralCupola of the aisle of St. Alexander NevskyCupola of the aisle dedicated to the Entry of Jesus into JerusalemCupola of the aisle of St. GeorgeCupola of the aisle sanctified in memory of the cathedral of Our Lady