Church of the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple | 1519

The Church of the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple with the refectory was erected in 1519 in place of the wooden refectory which used to stand near the south-western corner of the Assumption cathedral. The single-pier vaulted refectory together with the cellarer’s house adjoining it from the west was one of the biggest chambers of its time. It was one of the earliest examples of such a construction. It represented a single complex including the refectory itself, a small church and a number of service structures. This building related to that type of refectories when the volume of the church stood out from the volume of the edifice.

A well-proportioned faceted pier of the church contrasted with massive volume of the refectory.

A spacious parvis with an opened arcade was constructed in the 16th century in place of the original porch near the northern facade. In the 17th century the arches were bricked in and the parvis became closed.

Reconstructions of the first half of the 19th century greatly distorted its initial look. The ogee-arches at the top of the church were replaced with a dome. The roof construction above the main volume of the building was changed. The vault of the refectory was demolished and a hall of columns in the Empire style was arranged there in 1859. In 1865 it was decorated with painting which came down to us. The frescoes of the 16th century didn’t survive. At the same time window openings and doorways were hewn wider and received new fillings.

The window openings in the arches of the opened parvis were also altered.

Thus the interiors and partly the facades of the building were brought to some uniformity and reflected stylistic predilections existing in the monastery at that time.

The surface of the facing walls was repeatedly repainted during the 19th century. Some traces of these changes are visible. The interior decoration of the church and refectory has not been preserved.

Restoration work of this monument was started in December 2000 by the Moscow restoration company with limited liability “Karensi”. Now the works are being continued by its assignee - company with limited liability “Restoration centre – Architecture, Work, Training”. All structures have been reinforced; initial lay-out of the rooms has been reconstructed; the window openings and doorways have been restored. Now at the last stage of the work the monument is being prepared to house exhibitions.

leave comment