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The Church of the Transfiguration of Our Savior on Nereditsa (1198)
This church, which enjoys world fame, is located to the east of the Rurik Gorodishche on a low hill across the River Spasovka. The top of the hill offers a beautiful view of water-meadows, the wide ribbon of the River Volkhov and Lake Ilmen, including a panoramic view of the city of Novgorod.
The history of the church dates back to 1198 when it was built by prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich after the death of his children. The prince's structure was not at all different from the modest boyar churches, merchants' or parish churches of the end of the 12th century. This is a rather small single-domed cubic church. The inner decorations were also very simple. The fresco painting of the Savior Church was accomplished in 1199 and until its destruction gave the most accurate idea of the wall-painting system implemented in Russian churches at that time.
The church paintings had always been ascribed to local artists. Several years ago archaeologists discovered an estate, dating back to the end of the 12th century. This was the former residence of a local master, Olissey Grechin. Some of the findings allow us to make a conclusion that this artist supervised the work on the Nereditsa frescos.
World War II turned the monument into ruins. The measurements taken before the war made it possible to restore the church, but the once grandiose fresco ensemble was lost forever. Only some expressive fragments of the "Last Judgment," images of saints and martyrs in the deacon's room and several figures in the lower part of the altar help us to feel and understand its peculiarities.
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