Church of St. George

Address:
Vladimir, Georgievskaya street, 2a
GPS:
56.12694876, 40.40211278

The Church of St. George is located in that place in Vladimir, where, according to chronicle evidence, was the court of Prince Yury Dolgoruky in the 12th century. In 1129 a wooden Church of St. George the Victorious was built there, and the construction of the white-stone Church of St. George was completed in 1157, probably already by the son of Yury Dolgoruky – Andrey Bogolyubsky. The excavations showed that it was almost square in plan, a one-domed, four-pillared temple, with three massive apses. In strictness of form, the Church of St. George was similar to the Church of SS Boris and Gleb in Kideksha, the suburban residence of Yury Dolgoruky, but sharply different from the elegant white-stone Church of the Savior, which adorned the prince's court of Andrey Bogolyubsky in Vladimir.

There was the Egoryevsky (Grigorievsky) monastery at the Church of St. George in ancient times, which is mentioned in the annals before the 17th century. In 1738 the church of St. George was already listed as a parish one, that is, the monastery was liquidated by that time. On behalf of the Church of St. George, the adjacent street is also named – Georgievskaya.

In 1778, the Church of  St. George was badly damaged during a major city fire, its vaults collapsed. The church was dismantled, and on the foundation of the ancient temple of the 12th century and from its own stone in the years 1783-1784, a new one was erected, that exists until now. It was executed in the style of the provincial baroque. On the square in plan double-light quadrangle of the main volume, two diminishing octagons (light and deaf) rise, and the temple is crowned with an onion head on a low cylindrical drum. The facades of the quadrangle are divided by wide pilaster-strips, between which there are windows in platbands with triangular and semicircular completions, the top of the walls is girded with a profile cornice. Not deep altar apse adjoins to the temple from the east, and from the west – a one-story refectory Church of the Presentation of the Virgin with a tiny cupola, as well as a low octagon of the tented bell-tower.   

For a long time it was believed that the mother (Princess Theodosius) and the 13-year-old brother (Prince Feodor) of the great Vladimir Prince Alexander Nevsky were buried in the Church of   St. George. But this fact is questioned, since during excavations in 1900 the remains of them were not discovered. In addition, it seems strange that they could be buried in the Church of St. George, while according to the canons existing in those times, princely persons were buried either in the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir or in the Princess Assumption monastery. According to another version, the mother and brother of Alexander Nevsky died in Veliky Novgorod and were buried there in the Cathedral of St. George that is in   the Monastery of St. George. During the excavations of the 1930s, archaeologist M.K. Karger there discovered a sarcophagus with the relics of a 13-15-year-old teenager (presumably Prince Feodor), and they were destroyed during the fascist occupation of Novgorod (August 1941-January 1944).

In the early 1930s the Church of St. George in Vladimir was closed to parishioners and used for economic needs of different institutions. In particular, in the 1960s-1970s in the former iconic building was located the oil-fat factory and smokehouse of sausages, which contributed to the formation of a thick layer of soot on the walls. In the mid-1980s, restoration work was carried out, and in 1986 the Choral Music Center opened under the direction of the People's Artist of Russia, Professor E.M. Markin. In the church building with the necessary acoustics, the boys' choir sounded great. Before 2006, choral concerts were held in the church.

In May 2006, the Church of St. George was returned to the Vladimir diocese. Today, Sunday and festive divine services are held in the church with the participation of the youth choir.

In 2015 the Church of St. George became part of a new pedestrian tourist route along Georgievskaya Street (the so-called "Vladimir Arbat") – with a beautiful pedestrian zone and observation platforms.

Author: V. Korolkova