Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir (Успенский собор во Владимире)

The Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir is the Orthodox church that had appeared many centuries ago. The first wooden church on a hill over the Klyazma River mentioned in the chronicles had built at the end of the X century and stood 165 years until destroyed by fire.

In 1158 Grand Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky (Andrey the Pious) decided to build a white-stone church in honor of Dormition of the Theotokos. The church had been set for two years from the durable and high-quality stone from Volga Bulgaria. Grand Prince put out a lot of resources to the decoration of the church; chroniclers said that the church caused a sensation of amazement and admiration at both local and foreign people.

Dormition Cathedral (1160) in Vladimir, Russia

After the death of Grand Prince Andrey the Pious, his nephews ruled the Vladimir-Suzdal during a short while, but they had a chance to take away many treasures from Dormition Cathedral and skimmed them. Depredation of the Cathedral became not the last and not the most misfortune in its history. Through many centuries the church would go through the fires, nomad raids, and a state of disrepair, but time and time again, the Cathedral was recovered after every disaster.

Onwards of the middle of the XII century till the middle of the XIV century, Vladimir was the principal city of Vladimir-Suzdal Rus, so the Dormition Cathedral became the main Cathedral in the country. The Cathedral was used for the wedding and obsequies for the Grand Duchies Family, the patriarch and high-rank churchmen were there.

With the rising of Moscow’s importance, Vladimir City sinks in the scale together with the Dormition Cathedral. The metropolitans had still visited the church, but all their attention was riveted on Moscow and the foundation of churches there.

To the beginning of the XVII century, the main church in Vladimir was in disrepair. Little by little, the Cathedral was renovated on the private donations and insignificant receipts of money from the government. Stood to reason that the Cathedral would break down without full repairs.  In 1725 the government allocated money to renovate the Cathedral; the building was covered with Siberian iron and saved from wrecking. The exterior had changed in a comparison between original appearance and new look, but the Cathedral was still imposing.

In 1880th during the renewal of the Cathedral’s interiors, there were found the old fresco paintings established the date of the XII century under the coats of colors. In consultation with fellows of Archeological Society, all of the found paintings were depicted carefully, and later it was decided to reconstruct ancient wall paintings. After some time in Moscow was found a picture of the oldest icon of the Virgin of Vladimir, the icon was brought to Vladimir Cathedral by its establisher Grand Duke Andrey Bogolyubsky. Those days the ancient icon was in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow Kremlin. Around the icon were the paintings very similar to fragments showed up in Vladimir. The archeological committee of experts decided to recreate the parts which were lost in Vladimir Cathedral following the pictures in Moscow cathedral.

At present, the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir is jointly owned by the Russian Orthodox Church and Vladimir and Suzdal Museum-Reserve.

In 1992 the Dormition Cathedral was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a part of the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.

Open hours and price

Tuesday – Sunday from 13 to 16.45

Day off – Monday

Ticket price 150 rubles

How to get to the Dormition Cathedral

Vladimir, Bolshaya Moskovskaya Ulitsa, 56

In the Russian language – Владимир, Большая Московская улица, 56


Vladimir and Suzdal Museum-Reserve website in the Russian language

We recommend visiting nearby

Golden Gate – 0.9 km walking


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