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The town of Yeniseisk was founded in 1619 by the group of Cossacks led by boyar’s son Pyotr Albychev and Cossack Cherkas Rukin. The place of construction of a stockaded town was located on a small hill on the left bank of the Yenisei River near the mouth of the small river Tolcheya. Originally it was a rectangular palisade with three towers – strelnitsas and several log huts. The new fort was to ensure the safety of the garrison, called to impose a tax the local population. For the 1620-ies the stockaded town was reconstructed, extended and strengthened twice, in 1623 and 1626. In the 1620-ies the first wooden church in the name of the Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God and later the second – in the name of Mikhail Malinin were built in Yeniseisk stockaded town. Also on the territory of the fortress during this period there were various administrative buildings and shopping arcade (Gostiny dvor). The first data on Epiphany Cathedral, with two side-altars in honor of Nicholas the Wonderworker and Mikhail Malenin, located outside the fortress belong to 1626. According to the remained data Epiphany Cathedral was three-tiered, completed with five domes. On S. U. Remezov's drawing made at the end of the 17th century on the territory of the Yenisei stockaded town the Church of the Resurrection, with a tented roof and being in northeast part of the stockaded town, and the Church of the Transfiguration which was settling down to the west are shown. Nearby there was an octahedral pillar-shaped chapel topped with a groin barrel with the cupola. During this period all structures of Yeniseisk, including churches, were wooden. The configuration of the plan of the first Yeniseisk stockaded town representing the correct rectangle was characteristic of the fortress architecture of Siberia of the 17th century. By the nature of the fortifications, with 200 yards (400 meters), the Yeniseisk stockaded town belonged to stockaded town – fortress type.
Quickly enough Yeniseisk turned from a border fortification into a major commercial and administrative center of a vast territory in the basin of the middle Yenisei and of the Baikal region. According to the data of 1647: "the Yeniseisk stockaded town is small, the entire one had rotted, there are no ditches and fortresses, it is a circle of 200 sazhens, 78 sazhens in length. The carriageway tower of Assumption was on the upper end of 21 sazhens, the bottom breadth was 8 sazhens. In the fort there was a Church of the Entry, money and sable barns, 2 grain barns, a mandative log hut, a customs house, a voevode’s yard, gostiny dvor, a prison hut surrounded by palings. In the tower above the town gate there was a Not made by hand image of Jesus Christ, and on the other side there was the Sign." In 1649 Yeniseisk suffered from severe floods that swept away the fortifications of the stockaded town.
In 1651 after the devastating floods that completely washed away the old fortifications of Yeniseisk, a new eight-tower stockaded town was built by a voevode Athanasy Pashkov. Rather complete idea of the second Yeniseisk fort is given by S. U. Remezov's map according to which the fortress had one tower on eastern and northern sides, two towers – on southern one and four towers – on western side. The main entrance to the town was on the south side. From the Spasskaya Tower standing here in which the gateway church of the same name was placed the road on the Makovsky stockaded town began. By the middle of XVII century Yeniseysk had determined the location of the main architectural ensembles. The leading place in the panorama of the city was taken by a fort and the monastery of the Holy Transfiguration on the southern hills.
Along the banks of the Yenisei River there was a huge five-domed Epiphany Cathedral, the parish Church of the Resurrection, topped by tented roof and Nativity of Christ Church of convent located across the river Tolcheya, which had also an ancient tent completion. Between Epiphany Cathedral and Church of the Resurrection the complex of Gostiny dvor with the five-domed Church of the Entry was located. To the northwest from Epiphany Cathedral there was a voevode’s yard. According to S. U. Remezov's drawing the house of the voivode – the three-storyed timber building was an architectural dominant of the complex. The complex of the voevode’s yard, except the house of the voevode, included numerous outbuildings ("a black log hut", barns, a smithy). The whole complex was surrounded by a wall consisting of log curtain walls between the towers. Up until the 1760s the voevode’s yard retains its location. Not far from the Spasskaya tower of the town there was a prison, enclosed by palings, and mandative log hut on the roof of which the state coat of arms was placed. Across the river Perekop on higher ground there were buildings of the Spassky Monastery. In 1667, to protect trading quarter a wall of six curtains between the towers was built around it.
Thus, at the end of the XVII century Yeniseisk was a so-called "double stockaded town ", which consisted of "a small city" fortress and "a big city" – a fortified trading quarter.
It was the timbered stockaded town, characteristic of Siberia.
By the end of the 17th century, according to Nikolay Spafary, in a stockaded town there were already 500 smallholding buildings. However the fire in 1703 destroyed all governmental, administrative and commercial buildings as well as churches and considerable part of a housing estate. During 1704–1705 towers and walls of the fortress were restored.
According to the provincial reform of 1708 Yeniseisk became a district town of the Siberian province. The same year an experienced bricklayer Fedot Merkuryevich Chaika was sent to Yeniseisk from Tobolsk, in 1712 he built the Yeniseisk's first stone church – the Epiphany Cathedral which has not come down our time, only its bell tower has remained. The image of the temple of Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration, founded in 1731, is now the initial stage of stone construction of Yenisei Siberia.
In 1719, when Russia was divided into 50 provinces, Yeniseisk became the center of one of them. In the early 1730s, the city experienced another major fire that destroyed four of the eight towers of the "small town" and Church of the Resurrection. In 1733 the construction of the new town wall with eight towers urged to cover entire urban development began. However, in the absence of a real threat to the town, construction was not actually completed. The decayed remains of wooden fortifications of Yeniseisk were in the centre of the town before the fire of 1778, and several towers of the outer wall remained up to the beginning of the XIX century.
Thus, the existence of wooden stockaded town – fortress of Yeniseisk, the former chief architectural dominant of the town, covers the period from the beginning of the XVII century (1619) to the end of the XVIII century. As a result of loss by Yeniseisk of military value and its further development as trade and craft and administrative center, the defensive structures around a town core which fell within the 18th century into decay were not restored.
During the XVII – XVIII centuries Yeniseisk was the largest metallurgical center. In 1765 in the town there were 42 blacksmith shops. Experts in the field of metal working (blacksmiths, gunners, armorers, casters) lived along the river Melnichnaya, where dozens of horns and blacksmith shops were located.
At the end of 1760 – the beginning of 1770 there was a project of regular re-planning of Yeniseisk. Despite the fact that this plan was not approved by the Central government, the town was built in accordance with it. Only the fire of 1778, which burned a considerable part of urban development, made it possible to start practical work on the reconstruction of the town. As a result of it many streets were straightened, the extensive area which should adjoin the designed building of Gostiny dvor was created.
The question of construction of stone Gostiny dvor in Yeniseisk was brought up by the central government since the end of the 17th century, however only in the 1770s the construction of this complex began. The exact time of a construction of Gostiny dvor in Yeniseisk is not known, obviously construction works were was carried out in 1770 – 1780s.
Gostiny Dvor was a single complex of one-storeyed shops (of 112) arranged around a rectangular square of 50 by 70 meters in size. The corners of the yard had been beveled with a general rectangular shape plan of the complex. The southern facade, fronted by a sales area, in the middle had a gate with the second floor which was built over them. The whole structure was decorated in the Baroque style of the period. At the end of 1820 the building of Gostiny dvor was undergone to considerable restructuring. Above the central part of the southern facade the third tier was built. Obviously, in the same time over the middle parts of the southern and northern facades of the building triangular pediments appeared. At this time in the building of Gostiny dvor the policeman court was located in addition to trade institutions. Together with construction of Gostiny dvor, in the middle of XVIII – the beginning of the 19th centuries in Yeniseisk the active construction of civil stone buildings began. The most noticeable of them were, the so-called "House of the voevode" built in the 1770s, the two-storeyed building of "Evseev's house" (late 1770s – Early 1780s) – during this period Yeniseisk was included in the top ten best cities of Russia. According to the census of 1763 in Yeniseisk there were about 4,000 inhabitants.
In the nineteenth century Yeniseisk lost its former commercial and economic importance. The largest works in the town in the beginning of the century were associated with the expansion and improvement of churches. In 1819–1820 Epiphany Cathedral was surrounded with a stone fencing. In 1822 work was complete, and there was a consecration of gateway church of Zachary and Elizabeth in the Spassky monastery the foundation of which dates back to 1785. In 1826–1827 prior's housing of the Spassky monastery was completed, which meant, basically, the completion of the monastery's architectural ensemble.
Civil construction in Yeniseisk was not as developed as the church one – the building of district school (1824). In 1855 the town wooden building of the theater was built, which, however, burnt down in 1868. In 1858 a two-storeyed wooden building of the Nobility Assembly was built in Yeniseisk.
In the middle of the 19th century in connection with growth of welfare of citizens caused by development of gold mining in the Yenisei province architectural development of Yeniseisk is noted. So, in 1861 in Yeniseisk there were 153 stone and 1046 wooden houses. The public shops of Gostiny Dvor, private shops and homes were among stone town constructions. The biggest stone house in the town belonged to the merchant Ignatiy Kytmanov, the second for the sizes – to his brother Alexander. At the same time, the main residential construction in the town was made of wood. City estates, depending on the level of income of the owners were one- or two-storeyed buildings, with a whole complex of outbuildings: stables, zavoznyas (the covered area attached to a barn for carts and sledges), glaciers, baths, barns, etc.
In the first third of the 19th century there was an expansion of borders of the Nativity of Christ convent therefore it took the whole quarter. The stone fencing which surrounded the convent from eastern, southern and western sides turned to the town was built. By the beginning of the 1830th the one-storeyed stone prior's housing and two-storeyed one, also made of stone, for sisters were constructed. In 1843 a stone house, which stood at the southeast corner of the monastery fencing, passed into the possession of the monastery. In 1856 a two-storeyed wooden housing for the sisters was built in the convent. In 1859 a stone chapel over the grave of the elder Daniel was laid, its construction was completed in 1860. Practically nothing is known of original shape of a chapel except that it had a square layout and was made in the style of late classicism. Later, in the 1890s chapel was significantly rebuilt and acquired the image of a small stone church, the traditional partitioning of amounts (the altar, the church, the bell tower). Its architectural furniture solved in the Russian style earlier low-characteristic of Yeniseisk in general became a feature of a chapel for the sake of the Reverend Daniel the Stylite.
In 1869 in Yeniseisk there was another fire that destroyed most of the town. The fire burned Nativity of Christ convent church, Trinity Church, the bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral (the cathedral itself was not damaged), Transfiguration Church, Resurrection Church, the gateway church of Zachary and Elizabeth. Only Church of the Assumption and two cemetery temples survived the fire in the town. Despite the massive destruction, by the end of the 1870s almost all the churches were restored. At this time one-storyed stone house purchased by the convent was converted into a church, consecrated in honor of the icon of the Iveron Mother of God.
Large civil buildings were the housing of a man's gymnasium built in 1877 – 1886 in Bolshaya Street and the building of a girls' school (mid. 19th century) – in Kedrovaya St. Besides, during this period the numerous houses which had the stone first floor and wooden one – the second were built. In 1887 construction of a wooden Jewish house of worship which building came to the end in 1888 began. In 1902 in the Yeniseisk the construction of a stone mosque was started and in 1905 it was completed.
According to the Krasnoyarsk architect K. Yu. Shumov the history of building of Yeniseisk can be divided into several main stages:
The Soviet period in the history of forming of architectural appearance of Yeniseisk is characterized by the following features:
Despite it, Yeniseisk has not lost valuable qualities of the volume and spatial structure traditional for the Russian landscape cities developing in the 17–19th centuries. The historical core of the town generally keeps ancient shape and interrelations – prozory (bar spacing) which give the overview of architectural dominants. The basis of an artistic image of the town – museum including space of the Yenisei River and its tributaries, historical ordinary timbered building has remained. Streets of historic center of the town are most filled with monuments of architecture and history, ensembles, valuable environmental objects.
After a fire in the town in the early 1730s Yeniseisk began construction of stone temples, replacing wooden churches. Construction of Epiphany Cathedral dated from the first half of the 18th century. According to S. U. Remezov's plan, in the middle of the 17th century there was already huge five-domed Epiphany Cathedral in Yeniseisk. However, in 1703 during the great fire wooden Epiphany Cathedral was lost. In 1708 the Moscow master Fedot Chaika who arrived inYeniseisk from Tobolsk was laid a stone Epiphany Cathedral which construction was completed in 1712. Obviously, in 1737 the Vvedensky side-altar was made on the right side to the temple; about 1750 the side-altar for the sake of the wonders-worker Sergey of Radonezh was built; about 1760 the cold side-altar temple in the name of the prelate Nikolay which was located under a bell tower was built. After a fire in 1778, during which the cathedral was damaged, in the 1779-1780 two-storeyed stone tents were added to the cathedral. After completion of formation of architectural appearance of Epiphany Cathedral it was a high construction: the four-level bell tower is arranged as an octagon on the quadrangle, covered with a dome which was topped with a figured blank dome-drum with a baroque spire on large “apple” (decorative detail of the completion of the spire in the form of a ball). On the second floor of a bell tower the side-altar temple was constructed, its apse based on the vault of the refectory. The tier of bells was emphasized with a broad belt of friezes with the balusters, and its sides ended with semi-circular pediments, four of which located at the sides had round openings. Increased amounts of the side aisles were covered with vaults: southern with cross one, northern with dome and had the window of the second light: octagonal on the southern facade and rectangular with a bow-shaped end of the northern one. Later the magnificent decorative furniture of facades of a cathedral had analogs in a decor of Church of the Resurrection. In 1826 the stone fencing on a high brick basement consisting of quadrangular columns and metal lattices was built around a cathedral. On the western site of the fencing, opposite the entrance to the church, there were gates in the form of two brick pylons with arch gateway. On the southern section of the fencing a gate was located.
In the 18th century from the square on which there was the Epiphany Cathedral two streets led to the Spassky monastery. Opposite the cathedral a voevode's yard, a voevode’s house and the Cossack regimental structure was located at this time. Closer to the bank of the Yenisei river behind the cathedral fencing there was a provincial office, and upstream the magistrate was located. Barns which contained treasury also were opposite the cathedral.
A little later, to the East of the Epiphany Cathedral, the Church of the Resurrection was built, its simplicity of the silhouette and decoration differed from the magnificent forms of the Cathedral. In the 17th century, in 1651 a wooden Church of the Resurrection was constructed in Yeniseisk. It was a tent temple in the form of a quadrangle with a faceted altar apse and a butt joint on the west side where there was a warm church porch. At the end of the 17th century above the side butt joints domes with crosses were built. The wooden Church of the Resurrection was lost in the fire of 1703. In 1704 on its place new wooden Church of the Resurrection, later (in 1714) added with the side-altar temple of an icon of the Kazan Mother of God was built. In 1727 Church of the Resurrection burned down again. On the place of the burned-down church the wooden church in the name of the Resurrection was built again. It had small sizes and was a simple form temple of klet’ (cage) type. This temple stood until 1747, when the stone church was built in its place. Stone Church of the Resurrection was founded in 1735 a few yards to the north of the existing wooden church. The construction of stone church came to the end in 1747. In 1757 to Church of the Resurrection the side-altar temple of the Annunciation was attached. In the middle of the 1760s the construction of a church bell tower began. The bell tower was a massive octagon on the quadrangle. In 1773 one more temple – for the sake of an icon of the Kazan Mother of God was decent to Church of the Resurrection from south side of the building. During the construction of this side-altar the southern wall of a refectory of the main temple was dismantled, instead of it a pylon, on which vaulted structure was based, was installed. The same pylon was constructed in the construction of the northern side-altar. The architectural composition of both side-altars in general repeated the composition of similar side-altars of Epiphany Cathedral. References of existence since the 18th century of one more side-altar temple at Church of the Resurrection – St. John the Evangelist's temple have remained. In 1859 according to the project of the Krasnoyarsk city architect Bityutsky a two-storeyed stone tent with stairs to the chapel of St. John the Evangelist was built at the entrance to the church on the west side. At the end of 18 – the beginning of the 19th century around Church of the Resurrection the stone fencing in Baroque style was built.
Near Resurrection Cathedral, on the place of the burned-down Church of the Transfiguration, in 1747–1750 the stone temple also in the name of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ was built. It is interesting that for the period of construction works congregation built a wooden church of Our Lady of the Sign which existed up to 1774 when it was moved out of the town and placed near state shops and a cemetery. Here the church of the Sign stood until 1818, when it was dismantled because of its oldness and in connection with the completion of the nearby stone Church of the Assumption.
The analysis of architectural forms of Church of the Transfiguration allows to consider that the masters – newcomers, obviously, the Ural bricklayers took part in its construction. Thus, the completion of columnar window casing of the lower tier is made in the tradition of "Ural Baroque". A characteristic of Church of the Transfiguration is its two-number of storeys. In 1765 from South side of the temple the side-altar church of Our Lady of the Sign finished in 1770 was laid. The architectural composition of a side-altar reminded the small temple with four-part planning structure and was like compositions of side-altars of Epiphany Cathedral, Church of the Resurrection and Nativity of Christ Church. Along with the beginning of construction of a side-altar a construction of a church porch and bell tower was begun. In 1779 one more side-altar temple – Church of the Ascension was laid and its construction was completed by 1804.
In the long process of the construction of the Church of Transfiguration there were several stages with characteristic architectural forms. During the first stage (1747-1760) the first floor of the Church of the Transfiguration was built with characteristic forms of "the Ural baroque". During the second stage (1765-1770) when the church bell tower and the southern side-altar of the sign were built "the Ural baroque" in its development continued to remain dominating architectural style. In the third phase (1779-1804) a summer side-altar of the Church of the Ascension was built, a transition to capital baroque of the Western European forms in its architecture was evident.
According to the fractional information, the western facade of Church of the Transfiguration had a stone porch with stairs leading to the side-altar of the Assumption. By 1824 the porch had decayed and was dismantled. Instead, a stone staircase inside the church porch was made. Church of the Transfiguration didn't change the architectural appearance since the beginning of the 19th century and belonged to type of the Russian refectory churches with the three-part longitudinally axial planning which is a little complicated by southern a side-altar and a northern outbuilding.
Along with Church of the Transfiguration the Gostiny dvor was built. These constructions were architectural dominants of the town.
Construction of stone temples in two Yeniseisk’ monasteries also relates to the middle of the 18th century. In 1750 the Savior Cathedral was built in the monastery of the Holy Transfiguration which was founded in the middle of the 17th century (in 1642) and was one of the oldest in Siberia. The sizes of a cathedral were rather small that was explained by a small number of parishioners and brotherhood of the monastery. Having a small area it was quite a great height. Traditional temple: "octagon on the quadrangle" with a vast refectory and two side-altars. Decorative furniture of a cathedral was much simpler than the design of Epiphany Cathedral and Church of the Resurrection. In 1805 for church of the Saviour the side-altar for the sake of Saint Ilya was built. During the 1780–1800th in the monastery of Holy Transfiguration stone Holy gates with gateway church in a name Zachary and Elizabeth with side-altars were built: on southern side – in honor of the blessed Virgin of Consolation of All Who Sorrow, on northern one – the Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia (1795–1822), a front part of a fencing and prior's case. The Spassky monastery occupied the mountainous part of the town. The Zakharyevsky gateway church had open wooden galleries from two sides, later they were lost. In 1859 on the place of the former galleries side-altars were constructed. Under the church on both sides of gate there were two-storeyed tents occupied by the prior of the monastery.
In the Iversky Monastery existing in Yeniseisk since the 17th century wooden Church of the Nativity was initially a main temple. In 1755 on the place of wooden monastic church construction of stone two-storeyed church for the sake of the Nativity of Christ began. The construction of the lower warm Church of the Nativity was completed in 1758. Data on time of completion of construction of the top cold temple for the sake of the Prelate and Wonder-worker Nikolay are absent. Obviously, this event took place during service of the metropolitan Pavel (1758-1768). The lower northern side-altar of Christmas of the Virgin was constructed in 1758simultaneously with the main Patron Saint’s temples, and top cold one – the Vladimir Mother of God – in 1777. In 1822 the construction of the southern side-altar of the temple in the name of Nikita the Martyr, which came to the end in 1828, began. The construction of a side-altar for the sake of Holy apostles Pyotr and Pavel which was located over the Nikitsky side-altar began in 1825, and already in the next 1826 was finished. Thus, the two-storeyed Church of the Nativity had six side-altars. The church stood in the middle of the monastery and from three sides was enclosed with the stone fencing built in 1873. The temple was decorated with five cupolas. In it there were 9 windows and 8 windows were in a skylight dome. The height of the temple was about 13 sazhens (about 28 meters). The decoration of Church of the Nativity was made in the tradition of "Ural Baroque". The church was built in the same connection with the bell tower, located above the porch and topped with an octagonal stone tent. The walls of the church and bell tower were decorated with belts of brackets, balusters and begunets (type of masonry in the form of belts, forming on the surface of a wall some of triangular indentations, alternately facing vertices upwards and downwards). A few sazhens from the temple there was a stone chapel where ash of the blessed elder Daniil was lain. Besides, the stone chapel in honor of Saint Nicholas which was located half a verst from the temple on Kuznechnaya Street also belonged to the Church of the Nativity. To the west from the temple since 1901 there was a one-class parish school housed in the stone building with the high arch of the former almshouse.
In 1773 a stone Trinity Church, which was one of the best works of "the Yenisei school", was built on the site of the wooden church which had fallen into decay. The church was under construction on a small hill as parish one on the place of the developing new Barabinsk settlement. To the church some side side-altars were added: southern – for the sake of Candlemas, middle – for the sake of the Holy Trinity and northern – in the name of an icon of the Mother of God "Life-giving Spring". Trinity Church was an outstanding architectural monument of Siberia of the 18th century. In 1785 one-storey stone Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross with the two-storyed bell tower attached to it was laid near the city on the natural boundary Sevastyanka.
In 1793 two-storeyed stone Church of the Assumption which was the cemetery temple was put.
The cemetery church of the Entry into Jerusalem (Abalak) founded in 1801 at the entrance to the town from the East became one of the last churches constructed in Yeniseisk during its architectural heyday. The temple was an extended rectangle with expansion in the middle. Due to the church the square two-story bell tower in the plan was built. The Church was completed and consecrated in 1819.
Thus, 9 stone churches differing from each other in unique individual traits were constructed in Yeniseisk during its highest heyday which fell on the second half of 18 – the beginning of the 19th centuries.