Aleksandrov, Russia

By | July 8, 2022

According to A Country Blog, Alexandrov is located 40 km northeast of Sergiev Posad, almost in the center of the Golden Ring.

The first settlement on the site of Alexandrov arose in the XIII century, called the Great Sloboda. It passed into the ownership of the Moscow princes in 1302. Sloboda began to revive after the raids of the Tatars and princely strife in the 16th century, when Vasily III built a country residence here. In 1513, with the help of the best Russian and Italian masters, he erected the Pokrovsky (now Trinity) Cathedral. From 1564 to 1581, the residence of Ivan the Terrible was located in Sloboda, which actually made it the capital of the Moscow principality. Sloboda at that time expanded and strengthened, turning into a real fortress. The log walls of the royal residence were lined with brick, outside it was surrounded by a moat and rampart. In the settlement, the royal palace, orders, chambers for guardsmen were erected, the Assumption Church and the Crucifixion Church-bell tower were built. During the Polish-Lithuanian intervention, most of the buildings in these places burned down. Only under Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich did the city begin to revive. In the ruined royal residence, the Assumption Convent was formed. Moreover, it was built not only by men, but also by women, as there was not enough manpower. The last years of the sister’s life lived within the walls of the Assumption Monastery Peter I – princesses Martha, Maria and Theodosia. In addition, the daughter of Peter I, Elizaveta Petrovna, was in exile in Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda for 10 years. In 1778 Sloboda received the status of a city. By that time Alexandrov was known for his masters of blacksmithing and weaving. In 1870 the Moscow – Yaroslavl railway passed through the city . Today Alexandrov is one of the most famous tourist centers in Russia, included in the excursion route – the Golden Ring.

The unique palace and temple complex of the Alexander Kremlin is interesting, the second largest after the Moscow Kremlin. The main building of the Alexander Kremlin is the Trinity Cathedral. It was erected at the sovereign’s court in 1513. The cathedral combines early Moscow architecture of the late 14th – early 15th centuries and ornaments of Italian architects of the 15th – 16th centuries. The cathedral is decorated with white stone carvings and frescoes of the 16th century. To this day, there are large copper gates of the 14th century near the Trinity Cathedral, which were taken by Ivan the Terrible from Novgorod and Tver. The Assumption Church of the 16th century isĀ also striking in its beauty. Under the church, extensive cellars were well preserved, where the vaults of Vasily III and Ivan the Terrible were located. Next to the Assumption Church stands the tented Church of the Intercession. The exact date of foundation of the church is not known, it is believed that it was erected in the middle of the 16th century and was the house church of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. On the edges of her tent, a unique, unparalleled fresco painting, which was commissioned by the king, has been preserved. This is the only tent of the 16th century known in Russia with a plot. Here are depicted Russian princes and martyrs, along with the Old Testament kings and righteous people.

In the complex of buildings of the Kremlin, the high Crucifixion Church-bell tower (16th century) stands out, which dominates all the buildings. Adjacent to the bell tower are small living quarters where the Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna spent several years in exile.

Expositions and exhibitions are located inside the Kremlin State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve “Alexandrovskaya Sloboda”. During the excursions you will hear a story about Ivan the Terrible, the customs of past centuries and see such expositions as “The Sovereign’s Court in Alexander Sloboda”, “Royal Persons”, “The Dining Chamber of the 16th century in the palace buildings of Tsar Ivan the Terrible”, “Tsar Ivan the Terrible in painting”, “Sennik bed”, “Treasures of three centuries”, “Royal kvass”, “Morals of our antiquity”, “In a peasant’s hut” and many others.

Outside the walls of the Alexander Kremlin, the Art Museum is interesting. It was placed in 1989 in the mansion of the merchant A.M. Pervushina, which was built in the neoclassical style at the end of the 19th century. The mansion presents works by Alexander artists of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as reproduced interiors of the late 19th century. The museum has one more exhibition complex located in the former Trade Rows.

The city has a Literary and Art Museum of Marina and Anastasia Tsvetaev, which tells about the life and work of not only the Tsvetaevs, but also about other poets and writers of our time.

Aleksandrov, Russia