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Cathedral of the Virgin of the Sign (Znamensky) (1688)

The Znamensky Cathedral has survived practically intact, though of course it needs some restoration work. This structure is attractive in all its aspects, with its architectural style, unusual for Novgorod, elaborate compositional and decorative elements which would suit the Moscow and Volga regions more than the northern ones, and deeply touching, bright images, rich in ornaments (1702). They are traditional but at the same time precisely reveal the atmosphere of their time.

Indeed, among many figures of a huge composition called "The Last Judgment," occupying the entire western wall, we see the image of a person in short "German" dress and shoes, whose features surprisingly clearly reflect the face of Peter the Great. The devils are pulling him into Hell. By the irony of fate it was Peter and his brother Ivan who, answering the pleadings of their spiritual leader Mercury Gavrilovich, a Novgorodian by birth, gave the money to complete the construction of the Cathedral of the Virgin of the Sign (1682-1688). The church was built specially to accommodate the icon "Virgin of the Sign." It was painted by artists from Moscow and Kostroma, though the Novgorod boyars initiated the work.

The the Cathedral of the Virgin of the Sign has perfect acoustics which, combined with the size and beauty of the interiors, makes it possible to hold concerts of church music here.

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