Russia Geography Vologda


Vologda is almost the same age as Moscow. Like many other large Russian towns, its advantageous geographic position meant that it was often drawn into the internecine warfare during the formation of the Russian state. In the sixteenth century, Ivan the Terrible often visited the town and even planned to make it his capital.

The main architectural ensembles in the Vologda Kremlin were built in the sixteenth century. The foundations of the St Sofia Cathedral were laid in 1568. The cathedral took two and a half years to build and imitated the most important place of worship in Russia – the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. In the late seventeenth century, the interiors were decorated with frescoes painted by masters from Yaroslavl.

The Archbishop’s Yard was designed as the official residence of the bishop of Vologda and Perm, a post re-established by Ivan the Terrible. The Chambers of Bishop Joseph II, built almost two centuries later, rank among the finest examples of Baroque architecture from the reign of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. This complex of buildings is now a museum and home to a priceless collection of historical relics and medieval art.

One mile outside the city, at a bend in the River Vologda, lies the Prilutsk Monastery of the Saviour. Founded by St Demetrios of Prilutsk in 1371, this was one of the most important religious centres and military outposts in northern Russia. St Demetrios of Prilutsk was a follower of the teachings of St Sergius of Radonezh from the town of Pereyaslavl-Zalessky.

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