I hope I am forgiven in calling this holy place by its Soviet name.


In 1976 Genya Kudryavtsev took me there, a hair-raising ride, he had just passed his drivers test.... In 1977 Fridrich and Lilyan Nikolayev drove me a second time to Zagorsk, and I took most of these pictures. Afterwards we had a stylish picnic in the woods and were nearly eaten by enormous mosquitoes.

Lilyan and Friedrich and their daughter, who later married Sasha Oraevsky... Lilyan was a highly reputed cardiologist and Fridrich a Laser physicist in Prof. Basov's Institute at the Lebedev. Notice the Russian laquer bowls and the can of orange juice...!

The Troitskii Sergievskaya Lavra, a fairy castle from a Russian lacquer box....  


 Uspenskii Sobor (1559-85) and the Holy Water Fountain (18th century)


 Most amazing were the number of devout pilgrims in Zagorsk— this was a Sunday in 1977!— who had come by bus, train, and on foot often from very far, and who crowded the place. Women filling their milk cans with the miraculouis water.


 Three village women and an elegant lady in the back


Tolstoy in front of the Dukhovskaya Sobor(?)—Church of the Holy Ghost (1476)


The Bell Tower (1740-70 by Rastrelli) — (the closer to our time, the longer it took the Russians to build their churches...)  


Pilgrims milling in front of the Trapezna with the Troitskii Sobor (1422-23) —where the Rubelyov Trinity in the Tretyakov once hung, and Sergey is buried— in the background. 





Rostov Velikhi

Never mind the Moscow Kremlin, the Kremlin of Rostov-Velikhi is more impressive — alas, the map below is confusing. My naming churches is surely in error....

In 1977 Genya Kudryavtsev won the Institute's permission to take me beyond Zagorsk to Rostov and Yaroslavl on the Volga. The day was spectacular, and we both got very excited by the architecture of Rostov. Genya had never been there.

 The skyline of the Rostov Kremlin from a pram hired by my excited friend Genya on Lake Nero.


The Church of St John the Forerunner in the Market Place. The paint for these buildings had been paid for by MOSFILM, they were shooting a film in the streets — but the fabulously blue sky of that day was gratis. 


 The Wall surrounding the Kremlin proper.


 The Church over the main gate with the miracle-working icon which was stronger than guns in keeping enemies at bay.


My friend Genya found this side door in the Basha — we did not have to pay.... The Uspenskii Sobor against a threatening rain cloud. 


 Left, the Uspenskii Sobor outside the walls; right, the church over the western gate, the interior of which you will see later.


 Reflections in the pond which fills the hole in which the largest of the bells was cast in loco. Cornelius feedin the ducks.




Church over the western gate. 


Birch shingles, chimneys, and lead covered roofs seen from the Wehrgang (German for parapet) on the basha. The Uspenskii Sobor in back. 


Frescoes in the Wehrgang. The entrance to the Western Gate Church is on the left. 


 Murals in the Western Gate Church seen from behind the iconostasis (roped off)


 The iconostasis. It had been covered with mortar and painted white — hence the innumerable pock marks.


Murals in another church on the parapet. The holes served to stick the flue pipes of a stove or two through!


Murals inside the dome of the Western Gate Church — lying on my back....


 The Western Basha and part of the bell tower


The famous Bell Tower of Rostov — The dissonant tuning of the Russian bells (available on an old vinyl record) always remind me of the equally miserably tuned carillon at Harvard....  


The newly renovated Uspenskii Sobor and the Bell Tower in 1980. 


When in October 1980 Barbara, Cornelius, and I passed through Moscow on our way to Tbilisi Genya took us and his wife Zoya a second time to Rostov. The day had been overcast, but when we got to Rostov the clouds were swept away and revealed an immaculate blue sky. The low sun tinted the white buildings pink and yellow.







 Map of Rostov-Velikhi. Click on the map to enlarge.




Once in 1977 friend Genya took me beyond Rostov to Yaroslavl on the Volga.

In 1977 Pereslavl-Zalesskii was in a decidedly original condition, no Intourist buses....


Yaroslavl on the Volga

A church in Yaroslavl (early 16th century?) 


Domes of the Church in Yaroslavl-Tolkhova supposedly with remarkable but unseen murals inside