Sviyazhsk State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve “Island-City Sviyazhsk”

Location: Zelenodolsky district, Sviyazhsk State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve “Island-City Sviyazhsk”

The museum-reserve is the ensemble of buildings of the former town of Sviyazhsk. It has an exceptional and universal value. It includes some of the original structures of the town, which have been preserved. One of them is the wooden Trinity (Troitskaya) Church (1551) with its interior and iconostasis, which is one of the few monuments of Russian wooden architecture of the 16th century to have survived. Next to it is St. Nicholas (Nikolskaya) Church (1556). The Assumption (Uspenskaya) Church (1560) should be mentioned, which was built with the participation of the famous master stonemason Postnik Yakovlev (Barma), who created St. Basil’s on the Red Square in Moscow and the Kazan Kremlin.

There are 1,080 m² of ancient frescoes that have been preserved in the Assumption Cathedral, which for the breadth and variety of their biblical themes and the perfection of their execution are unequalled among the few surviving examples of fresco art of the 16th century. They differ substantially in their technique and use of colour from Novgorod, Pskov, Vladimir-Suzdal’ and Moscow fresco paintings. It is also unique as an incomparable example of ancient Russian wooden town-building technique, and for the sheer scale of the operation to construct and settle the town fortress (75,000 people built it in 24 days), there has been no equivalent anywhere in the world.

“A museum complex has been formed in Sviyazhsk, which consists of several exposition spaces. It consists of the Museum of the History of Sviyazhsk (4 buildings), the Museum of the Civil War, the Museum of the artist Gennady Arkhireev, the Art Gallery, and the Old Water Tower exhibition hall. In 2018, the Tatarskaya Slobodka Archaeological Wooden Museum, unique and the only one in Russia, was opened, where the finds of the wet cultural layer became objects of exposition. The museum building is built into the hill so as not to distort the natural landscape of Sviyazhsk. Sviyazhsk State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve “Island-City Sviyazhsk” has no analogues. It brings together four eras: the 16th century, two stages of the 17th century and the 18th century.” (from the museum information sources)