Kargopol (essay)

The town of Kargopol is one of the ancient towns of northern Russia. During several centuries it played a noticeable role in the life of ancient Russia as a large trade center and important outpost in the north-west outlying districts of the country.

Kargopol was connected either directly or indirectly with some important events of Russian History. Kargopol withstood a siege of foreign troops twice - in 1612 and 1614. At the beginning of the XVIIth century the leader of the insurrection of Russian people Ivan Bolotnikov was exiled to Kargopol. In the second half of the XVIIth century, in the period of schism the town and its environs became the refuge of old-believers.

Very precious monuments of medieval Russian architecture (the churches mainly) have been preserved in Kargopol. They show a high level of building technique and are distinguished by perfect proportions, varied architectural forms and rich decorations.

The earliest of these buildings is the Nativity Cathedral of 1562. Its architecture is similar to that of many Russian cathedrals of that time. But the extensions erected later altered somewhat its primary austere appearance.

Now there exist only three churches of the XVIIth century in Kargopol: the church of the Nativity of the Virgin (1678-1680), the church of the Resurrection (the late XVIIth century), the church of the Annunciation (1692). The characteristic feature of these churches which are the pride of Kargopol is the extraordinary beauty of abundant architectural ornaments. The best of them, the church of Annunciation, is charming in its graceful proportions, in richness of ornamental details and in diversity of decorations of its facades (the east wall is especially beautiful). It is one of the most magnificent monuments of Russian architecture.

Kargopol churches of the XVIIIth century - the church of St. John the Precursor (rebuilt in 1751), the cathedral bell tower (1767), the Trinity church (1790-1802) and the St. Nicholas Cathedral are built in Russian classical style.

In the first quarter of the XIXth century the church of the Presentation (1802 or 1809), the churches of St.'s Zosima and Sabbateus (1815-1816) were constructed and the ancient store ("Gostiny Dvor") was rebuilt.

Kargopol is remarkable not only for its beautiful churches. There were many skilful iconpainters, blacksmiths, silversmiths. The town was famous for its printed cottons, linen kerchiefs embroidered with golden threads, earthenware toys.

Scattered in the neighborhood of Kargopol the villages and their churchyards Asafyevo, Saunino, Bolshaya Shalga, Lyadiny, Berezhnaya Dubrava and others are peculiar preservations and real treasuries of wooden architecture of ancient Russia.


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Another information on Kargopol - kargopol.ru


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