No wonder they say that architecture is the soul of the people, embodied in stone. To Russia it is only with some amendment. For many years Russia was a country of wood, and its architecture, pagan chapels, fortresses, towers, houses were built of wood. In the tree Russian people, especially as the people who lived near the Eastern Slavs, expressed their perception of building beauty, sense of proportions, the fusion of architectural structures with the natural environment. If wooden architecture mostly dates back to the pagan Rus, the stone architecture associated with Russia already Christian. Such transition did not know Western Europe of old building and temples, and dwellings made of stone. Unfortunately, ancient wooden constructions were not survived, but the architectural style of the people has come down to us in later wooden structures in the ancient descriptions and drawings. For Russian wooden architecture was the characteristic levels of the buildings, vinciane their turrets and towers, including the availability of various extensions of stands, passages, passage. Intricate art wood carving has been a traditional decoration of Russian wooden buildings. This tradition lives on in the people. and up to the present time.
The world of Byzantium the world of Christianity, the countries of the Caucasus has brought to Russia new construction experience and tradition: Russia adopted the construction of their churches in the image of the cross-domed Church of the Greeks: a square, divided by four
pillars, is its Foundation; adjacent to the dome of the space of rectangular cells form architectural cross. But this sample of Greek craftsmen, who arrived to Russia since Vladimir and working with them Russian craftsmen used to the traditions of Russian wooden architecture, habitual to Russian eye and a cute heart. If the first Russian churches, including the Church of the tithes, at the end of the tenth century were built by Greek craftsmen in strict accordance with the Byzantine tradition, St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev reflected the mix of Slavic and Byzantine traditions: on the basis of the cross-domed Church were set thirteen hilarious chapters of the new Church. This step pyramid St. Sophia Cathedral raised up the style of Russian wooden architecture.
St. Sophia Cathedral, founded in the time of the approval and exaltation of Rus under Yaroslav the Wise, showed that the construction is also policy. This Church of Russia challenged the Byzantine Empire, it recognized the relic of Constantinople to St. Sophia Cathedral. In the ELEVENTH century rose St. Sophia cathedrals in other big cities of Russia — Novgorod, Polotsk, and each of them claimed for their own, independent of the prestige of Kiev and Chernihiv, where was erected the Cathedral of the Transfiguration. Throughout Russia were built monumental multi-domed churches with thick walls, small Windows, evidence of power and beauty.
In the XII century the traditions of ancient architecture has not lost its touch. According to the figurative expression of one critic, throughout Russia the Russians marched single-domed churches-heroes, replaced the old pyramid. The dome rises up on powerful, massive squared. This was Demetrius Cathedral in Vladimir-on-Klyazma, the Saint George Cathedral in Yuryev-Polsky.
The great flowering of architecture reached in the reign of Andrei Bogolyubsky in Vladimir-on-Klyazma. His name is associated with the construction of the assumption Cathedral in Vladimir, beautifully situated on the steep Bank of the Klyazma, the white stone Palace in Bogolyubovo village, the Golden gate in Vladimir — powerful cube of white stone, topped with a gold-domed Church. When it was created the miracle of Russian architecture — the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. Prince built this Church far from their houses after the death of his favorite son Izyaslav. This small one-domed Church became a poem in stone, which harmoniously combines the modest beauty of nature, a quiet sadness, enlightened contemplation of the architectural lines.
Andrew’s brother, Vsevolod III continued this construction activity. His masters have left to posterity a wonderful St. Demetrius Cathedral in Vladimir — majestic and modest.
At the same time churches were built in Novgorod and Smolensk, Chernigov and Galich, laid a new fortress constructed stone palaces, the house of rich people. A characteristic feature of Russian architecture of those decades was decorating the buildings stone carving. Amazing is the art we see on the walls of cathedrals in Vladimir-Suzdal, Novgorod and other Russian cities.
Another feature, brings all the Russian architecture of that time, became organic combination of architectural structures with the natural landscape. See how supplied and still are the Russian churches, and you will understand what we are talking about.